Life and Style

Night In

Anthony Rose: Great burgundy vintages are usually thought of as red. But in 2007 the whites are better than the reds

I wasn't going to comment on the latest burgundy arrival because the word on the grapevine wasn't sufficiently enthusiastic to justify it. That was before tasting the wines, and while I still don't believe 2007 is a vintage in which to sink your life savings, it merits attention for unexpected reasons. A great burgundy vintage is usually thought of as red, as in 1999, 2002 and 2005, and red wines and laying down are synonymous. 2007 is about the whites.

Anthony Rose: Most good independent shops now have efficient mail-order services and websites

As consumers in search of a wide range of wines at low prices, we naturally tend to favour the ubiquitous big-name outlets. But the high-street chains can lack wines of greater interest and personality. And now that the Chancellor has brought the price down on wines over £8.80, what better time than in the run-up to Christmas to support your local independent merchants – and find some last-minute treats?

A lot of bottle

A blend of traditional craftsmanship and modern marketing has struck Champagne gold.

10 (more) things to blame on Bridget Jones

How Britain got into big knickers, knitted jumpers and chardonnay

Exit Lines, by Joan Barfoot

The rage of the aged: a haunting, disturbing tale of growing old disgracefully

Wine: Finest hour

Whether you love it for convenience and value, or hate it for decimating a nation of shopkeepers, you can't ignore Tesco. For anyone who can recall Green Shield stamps and "pile it high sell it cheap"mentality of the Jack Cohen era, it seems improbable that Tesco can have quite so dramatically transcended its humble origins to become not only the nation's leading grocer, but its foremost wine retailer, too. Last year I mentioned that the experienced and affable Dan Jago had been hired to take the beers, wines and spirits department to a new level of quality. What better way then to demonstrate that he's walking the walk than a tasting of Tesco's Finest wine range to celebrate 10 years of the brand?

Salmon escalope with tomatoes and basil

Serves 4

Wine: Great whites

By Anthony Rose

Parents must rename girl called Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii

Choosing a name for a new baby is always tricky. Should it be classical or modern? Safe or a bit zany? One can only wonder how the parents of one unfortunate girl in New Zealand came up with... Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii.

Wine: Bridget Jones syndrome

I suspect that Oz Clarke had tongue in cheek with his recent claim that chardonnay's decline was down to its association with a lovelorn Bridget Jones bolstering her lack of self-esteem with yet another glassful of the stuff. In fact, whatever influence Helen Fielding's creation may have had on chardonnay was undeniably positive, and if there's been a 3 per cent decline in sales, as claimed by the retail analysts TNS, it's more likely to do with the fact that so much of it has become over-branded and over-promoted.

Wine: Country life

Two in every five bottles of French wine sold in the UK last year were vins de pays. Not constrained by the appellation contrôlée (AC) rules that allow wines to be made only from specific grape varieties and within strictly controlled boundaries, vins de pays also benefit from being able to mention the grape variety on the label, allowing smaller producers to get across to the consumer, à la New World, what the style is. As a result, vins de pays often offer good value and a more subtle alternative to the generally bolder flavours of the New World.

Wine: Girl power

Those for whom every day is Valentine's Day may be interested in a new range of wines aimed at women developed by a French wine merchant. WineSight has selected about 30 French wines under the label Sublimelle, "parce que la femme est Sublimelle". It boasts "no need for images of lingerie", so the fact that a French lingerie label of the same name adorns such fine brands as Forplay (sic) and Leg Avenue, is presumably a coincidence. Selected by a man, Frédéric Auriol, the range (available at www.chateauselect. co.uk) offers wines for a variety of occasions, "whether it is a girls' night out, an individual tasting, a romantic dinner, after love-making, or a business success".

Wine: Kiwi fruit

"Should we be concentrating on sauvignon blanc or putting our eggs in different baskets?" Stumbling off the plane at 6.30am in Auckland after a 30-hour flight, I wasn't ready for the question exercising the mind of Terry Dunleavy, then heading up the New Zealand Wine Institute. All I could think of was bed. That was in 1991 when sauvignon blanc was nearing its zenith as New Zealand's unique selling point. In time, even sceptics were converted to Kiwi sauvignon's intensely assertive tropical fruit qualities.

Anthony Rose: All the fruit – and cheaper

When the Spanish winemaker Miguel Torres first declared Chile to be a viticultural paradise back in the late 1970s, the world sat up and took notice. Indeed, with its natural advantages of constant sunshine and irrigation from the melted snow of the Andes, why shouldn't the grape flourish?

Brian Viner: High price for membership of Celtic soul brotherhood

Tennents Bar on Byres Road in the West End of Glasgow was as good a place as any to watch Celtic v Milan on Tuesday night, or as good a place as any except Parkhead. We stood, 15 or 20 deep, clutching our beers to our chests only because there was no other way of holding them, in as tight a formation as the wooden bricks in a game of Jenga.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
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