Port maker hopes to tickle women pink

Port, the after-dinner tipple of choice for the gout-suffering classes, is attempting to shake off its stuffy image with a new pink version aimed at elusive female drinkers.

Something For The Weekend?

Pink Pink Fizz, Pere Ventura Cava; 2004 Charles Back Pinotage Viognier; Tesco Finest 10 Year Old Tawny Port

Country Life: A fire blazed and industrial measures of port were handed round to fortify us against the westerly wind

The pheasant shooting season finished yesterday. Those peculiarly beautiful yet brainless creatures need no longer live in fear of men in waxed jackets, although there are still the deadly perils of the A44; the pheasants round here like to play chicken with oncoming traffic, and frequently come off

George Pitcher: Articles of faith

Once a bleary-eyed denizen of journalists' dives, the PR boss and former hack George Pitcher is now the media's man with a ministry. Ian Burrell hears his confession

Eating & drinking: Just desserts

THE TURKEY'S cleared, the crackers are cracked, the children have sloped off to play with their Nintendos. Around the table, yet again, the question is posed which has stumped philosophers from Heraclitus to Noel Gallagher: what should we drink next? Well, maybe that's an exaggeration. For some philosophers, it has to be port. And if that's the case, your buying options are numerous: the shops are stuffed with it. Just decide on your price and style, then go to a shop with a good selection and get their advice.

Food & drink: Something to wash it all down with - for under pounds 170 a bottle

Anthony Rose On Wine; Sweet wines - part two of our three-part guide to great-value Christmas drinking

CAPTAIN MOONLIGHT: I'm right behind Cliff's millennium prayer

AHOY and welcome to the world's only post-modern pre-millennial diary column sponsored by a port company with the initials W and J! And may I start by thanking all of you who so kindly wrote in to point out that one of the bulbs in my sophisticated logo arrangement wasn't working last week. I have had a quiet word with my technical and logistical delivery support team and have received a firm assurance that everything will be "AOK" today. So, on with business! And I couldn't help noticing that New Labour is looking for a New campaign song to replace, you must remember, "Things Can Only Get Better". And who better placed to come up with suggestions than you? Not only will you earn the undying gratitude of our PM, Millbank, and the nation, but the Captain will also reward you with one of his shiny, black and silver enamel-effect Moonlight Badges, or, if you insist, a bottle of port. Here are the Captainly suggestions (try to imagine them being performed by the PM, with full Cabinet backing): 1) "Happiness", theme of the great Ken Dodd. 2) "Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen" (rap mix, Cabinet hum). 3) "Bleep Right On To The End Of The Road". 4) "All Right Now". 5) "(I Can't Live In A) World Without Love", by Peter and Gordon. 6) "Mandy". 7) "Home, Home Slightly Beyond My Range". 8) "When I Saw You Standing, Blair". 9) "Fly Me To The Hoon". 10) "Irvine The Mood For New Wallpaper". 11) "Poor Do, Ron, Ron". 12) "Straw My Everything". 13) "Arms Sales Till The Sun Sets". Or perhaps they should just stick with the old one. Next!

World of port in a storm as America drinks vintage dry

IT IS enough to spark apoplexy in the cigar smoke-filled, leather- chaired alcoves of London's gentlemen's clubs. The Americans have finally discovered port - but they don't know how to drink it properly.

All aboard! Your guide to the best summer cruise holidays

From enormous Caribbean floating pleasure palaces with an endless supply of food to more intimate journeys through Norwegian fjords and French canals, there is a ship to suit your needs. By Guy Mansell

Travel: 48 hours in; Le Havre

It's a gateway to Europe. But don't be fooled. It's a worthy destination too. By Gerard Gilbert

DIY was all the rage in Pompeii

IF ROME wasn't built in a day, the residents of Pompeii were even more methodical about their city's construction. New excavations of the ruins of the southern Italian city, destroyed by volcano in AD79, suggest that Pompeii man was the original DIY enthusiast.

Obituary: John Smithes

DURING A life devoted to the making of port, John Smithes made a major contribution not just to the family firm of Cockburn but to the port trade in general.

Richard Ehrlich's Beverage Report: It's never too late

What, you still haven't organised your Christmas drinking? Time for urgent action

Drink: Goodwill hunting

If you want to keep relatives sweet without lavishing the pick of your cellar on them, choose smooth, warm, fruity wines that will appease many palates

Storm over `port' delays trade deal

A DISPUTE over South Africa's right to sell its fortified wines at home as "port" and "sherry" is threatening a ground- breaking trade deal with the European Union.
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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
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada