Features & guest posts
Champagne is once again a Christmas battleground between the supermarkets though I haven’t spotted quite so many £8 and £9 bottles this year (I suspect we may see a few next week). Best avoided anyway: here’s the best of what’s available under £20 this weekend. Note prices may have changed by the time you read this.
As it's Word Vegetarian Day I thought I'd re-run an article from Decanter on wine and vegetarian food I wrote a few years ago but still contains some useful pointers from top wine producers and sommeliers. (Some of the people quoted are now in different jobs.)
The American Brewers Association chose uber-cool Kitty Fisher's in Shepherd Market, Mayfair for their annual lunch for British beer writers this week. Sophie Atherton reports on the outcome.
If you’re an adventurous drinker who likes to try new wines it’s well worth heading for your local branch of Marks & Spencer especially right now (August 2015) when they have 25% off if you buy six bottles.
Much play has been made over the last few years of having different shaped glasses for different wines but for those of us with limited storage space (and a limited budget) that’s simply not practical. So what are the best type of glasses to buy and what should you expect to pay for them?
This week is National Barbecue Week in the UK and if you're planning a barbecue this weekend you might well be wondering what to drink. Here's an article I wrote for Decanter a few years ago which still holds good today, I think.
No-one who hasn’t experienced a Greek Easter can imagine the scale of the feasting. Wine writer Ted Lelekas tells all about "the most lavish and important meal of the year".
The start of Lent is cause for gloom for many people faced with the prospect of giving up something pleasurable like wine or chocolate Not for the Greeks however who kick off their fasting with a splendid celebration called Kathara Defter or ‘Clean Monday’.
To most westerners the idea of drinking young red Bordeaux with Chinese food seems bizarre. Especially with delicate Cantonese dishes, the most widely available of the Chinese cuisines in the west . Clearly though the Chinese who are paying stratospheric prices for first and second growths - and presumably drinking them - think differently. They don’t turn to riesling and other aromatic and off-dry whites for a reason.
If you're planning a Burns Night supper this weekend you may be wondering which whisky to pair with it. Born and bred Scot, Ewan Lacey, general manager of the International Wine & Spirit Competition has some answers.
The mistake most people make when they’re serving wine is to serve whites too cold and reds too warm. Assuming you haven’t got a handy wine thermometer here’s a quick guide to the ideal temperature for different styles of wine:
Just as UKIP has shaken up the political landscape so Aldi and Lidl have changed the face of retailing in the UK. You might not have considered buying your wine there before but you certainly should this Christmas.
This weekend I’ve been down at my favourite food festival in Dartmouth where I’ve been giving a number of wine talks. One of them was a forum on food and wine matching with wine writer and TV presenter Susy Atkins and former sommelier and wine supplier Tim McLoughlin-Green of Sommelier’s Choice.
You can tell we’re already in the run-up to Christmas with supermarkets making a pitch for those who like to do their shopping early.
I’ve already made my selection of Bordeaux from Lidl’s heavily promoted new French wine offer on the Guardian website today. Here’s what else I’d pick up when the wines go on sale this Thursday September 4th. (Note they're NOT available before then.)
Following on from my pick of the white wines from M & S's current 25% off six bottles promotion here are eight reds I’d recommend from my most recent tasting in May 2014
It says a lot about Marks & Spencer’s usual prices that they can afford to run a 25% off deal if you buy any 6 bottles of wine or champagne* for a whole month rather than the usual week but you might as well take advantage.
As I mentioned in my Guardian column this week the Government has been putting pressure on the drinks industry to reduce the strength of house wines to below 12.5%. Frankly I think that’s more likely to make people spend more on their wine rather than drink less but it’s true that wines have got progressively higher in alcohol particularly from regions like Bordeaux where reds now regularly clock in at 14%. I certainly prefer to drink wines below that myself.
Sally Butcher of Persepolis, shares the secrets of Iran's delicious non-alcoholic drinks, in time for the Persian new year.
US-based wine writer and educator David Furer reports on an epic tasting in the homeland of American barbeque, Austin, Texas pairing a selection of international and home-grown reds with different meats.