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The Blagger's Guide To...Reading Force

How books can bring families closer together

Letter from the editor: 100 issues old today

Sam Roberts, with a six-word text, summed up the feelings of i readers up and down the country.

Letter from the editor: A landmark in our fledgling history

Tomorrow i passes 100. We don’t expect to get a telegram from the Queen, nor even a polite round of applause for hitting a century, but it’s another landmark in our fledgling history and one which gives us another reason (or is it excuse?) to crack open the Chardonnay.

Anthony Rose: 'It seems as if the northern and southern hemispheres have become parallel but separate worlds'

When I was first getting to grips with wine in the dim and distant past, I never had the benefit of appreciating wine by grape variety. Wine was all about location, as the name on the bottle indicated: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhône and so on. Since the New World was never hamstrung by the pedigree of location or brand, it turned the label upside down and opted for all those grape varieties it had pinched from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhône and elsewhere.

Leading article: Grape expectations

Picture the scene in a few years: a jolly party in full swing. Anyone fancy some Chinese? No, it's not takeaway sweet-and-sour that these festive revellers will be talking about, but wine.

Wagstaff ploughs Venture pay-off into British sparkling wine

Mike Wagstaff has ploughed some of the near-£20m he made from the sale of Venture Production into creating "one of the finest sparkling wines in the UK".

Anthony Rose: 'Riesling scores handsomely over chardonnay in its versatility'

If I had £1 for every time I read that the riesling revival was just around the corner, I'd be laughing. And if I were a rich man, I'd fill my cellar with 2009 German riesling. In fact, compared to extravagantly priced 2009 Bordeaux, current offers of 2009 German riesling look positively cheap. Places such as Alsace, Austria, Australia and New Zealand are spearheading the current riesling revival.

Anthony Rose: You can now put Spar's wines on your dinner table without attracting a derisory snort from your guests

Laura Jewell likes the expression "does what it says on the tin". That's because, since she joined Spar as their wine buyer a year ago, she's been busy re-vamping the range with wines that do a job at the price. Spar, which opened for business in the UK in 1967, is possibly not the first wine port of call for Independent readers. Toilet rolls perhaps; in fact anything you might drop into the local store for on your way home. But wine?

Lotta Bottle: The best summer wines

From elegant rieslings to succulent reds for the barbecue...

Size really matters: Why matching the wine glass to the grape is crucial

Kate Hilpern has her tastebuds taken by surprise

Anthony Rose: 'The first group in the Australian Chardonnay tasting failed to set the pulse racing'

Wine of Australia put on a blind tasting of 50 "world class" chardonnays at this year's annual tasting. Why chardonnay? Well, Australian chardonnay is big business. Of the top 10 most popular chardonnays in the UK, the top four are Aussie: Hardy's, Jacobs Creek, Lindemans and a supermarket own-label (Tesco's presumably). As liked as they may be, no one would pretend that these four are world-class. So we were being asked whether the claim that Australian chardonnay has evolved into a plethora of styles at different levels of quality, holds good.

Anthony Rose: 'A strong euro and a burgeoning global market could make life difficult for those with a limited wine budget'

Stargazers are two a penny at this time of year, but predicting 2010's wine trends need not be a total mug's game. To look forward in wine – reculer pour mieux sauter, as the French would have it – is the way. One of the big events this year, for instance, is likely to be the sale of Bordeaux 2009 vintage this spring. Bordeaux predictions should be taken with a larger than usual pinch of salt, but after three average years since the great 2005 vintage, reliable noises coming out of the region suggest that 2009 could rank alongside 2005. As ever, price will be the key. A strong euro and a burgeoning global market fuelled by new Asian wealth could make life difficult for those of us with an honest interest in – but limited budget for – great claret.

The wine-lover's dream – in the suburbs of Paris

The hills around the French capital were once famed for their vintages. Now one small vineyard which has survived the urban sprawl is in need of an expert to run it
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Anna Nicole Smith died of an accidental overdose in 2007
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
'The Great British Bake Off' showcases food at its most sumptuous
tvReview: Bread-making skills of the Bake Off hopefuls put to the test
A cupboard on sale for £7,500 in London
lifeAnother baffling example of the capital’s housing crisis
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
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home