Life and Style

Burgundy is on a roll, bordeaux a roller-coaster. In 2013, bordeaux failed to deliver a good enough vintage to make it worth buying early.

My Round: Break for the Bordeaux

Unlike our newly crowned Bar Writer of the Year, the latest claret is not an award winner. But it's still a hot-blooded full-bodied treat

A nice battle of Bordeaux

Producers say critic Robert Parker - who can make or break a vintage - just doesn't understand claret. Is it a case of sour grapes?

Wines Of The Week

Food & Drink: Shiraz or syrah - the next big thing?

In the third and final part of our guide to Christmas wines, the spotlight is turned on New World reds.

Captain Moonlight: Glad to be your image consultant, Ma'am

AHOY! Come alongside and walk this way, why don't you? Because today, drawing on the Captain's early experience as a floor walker at Gamages, I am, respectfully, going to offer some discreet advice to HM The Queen, whose current dress sense, and, in particular, a very lively little number last week, is, I read, giving rise to some concern: 1) Check that wardrobe in the seventy-second bedroom at the back, third floor, the white MFI one with vanity panel, to see if your Mum left anything behind. She has quite an eye for a frock, you know. 2) Posh Spice, Your Majesty, shops at a splendid little place called Tarts in Waltham Cross, where you can pick up one of those handkerchief top efforts for as much as pounds 22.50. 4) And the Duke could wear it on his head when you're not using it. 5) I often liven up an old outfit by putting it in the washing machine at max temp with one of my replica footie shirts. But it looks as if you're wise to that. 6) Do you knit? We're only on dishcloths here so far, but there is talk of a pants suit. 7) Accoutrements can also - subtly! - liven up an "old number"; which is why I have sent you one of my exclusive black and silver enamel effect Moonlight Badges. Your servant, Maam! Next!

FOOD & DRINK: Bordeaux and burgundy for a traditional Christmas

On Wine: Start planning your festive drinking with our three-part guide to great-value wines

Top Table: Casaurina, Hunter Valley, Australia

Location

Letter: Bordeaux `plonk'

Sir: The blind tasting of clarets that you report does not support the conclusion drawn by some participants that reds from Australia and South America would be "much better". It appears that no wines from these countries were tasted blind along with the 39 clarets, and so the comparison seems to depend upon the mere memories of those making it.

Claret, favourite tipple of Britain's drinking class, condemned as plonk Experts condemn favourite wine of drinking classes as cheap plonk Drinking classes reel after experts condemn clarets as cheap plonk

IT HAS lasted hundreds of years and held the upper classes of England under its spell - but has the great claret myth finally been punctured?

Drinking: A day in wine world

ON BOTH the occasions I have met Tony Hodges, he has quoted an alarming statistic: 70 per cent of customers leaving Sainsbury's with a bottle of wine do not know what grapes it is made of. This is sobering news for wine writers. For Hodges, it is a cause for cautious celebration: he aims to make a packet by educating the parts of the population that wine writers do not reach.

Drink: Corney, but original

The wine bar's tired, Eighties image has finally been given a makeover ... by a company that's been around for 200 years

The complete guide to wine holidays

There are as many different tours for wine-lovers as there are wines from different parts of the world. Whether you're an oenophile who can spit on a sixpence, or a "I don't know much about wine but I know what I like" type, there will be a holiday out there just right for your taste - and your pocket.

A short break in: Bordeaux

Dominic Hamilton discovers a city in south-west France with grand architecture, great museums and gourmet restaurants - and the wine's not bad either
News
Jennifer Lawrence was among the stars allegedly hacked
peopleActress and 100 others on 'master list' after massive hack
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Voices
A man shoots at targets depicting a portrait of Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a shooting range in the center of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv
voicesIt's cowardice to pretend this is anything other than an invasion
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
News
Fifi Trixibelle Geldof with her mother, Paula Yates, in 1985
people
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor