Features & guest posts

American beers at Kitty Fisher's

American beers at Kitty Fisher's

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.

12 wines you probably wouldn’t expect to find in Marks & Spencer

12 wines you probably wouldn’t expect to find in Marks & Spencer

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.

What are the best wine glasses to buy?

What are the best wine glasses to buy?

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?

What type of wine works best with a barbecue?

What type of wine works best with a barbecue?

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.

How Greeks celebrate Easter: the feasting after the fast

How Greeks celebrate Easter: the feasting after the fast

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".

Here's to Clean Monday!

Here's to Clean Monday!

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’.

Why the Chinese prefer to drink red wine with food

Why the Chinese prefer to drink red wine with food

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.

Award-winning whiskies to drink on Burns Night

Award-winning whiskies to drink on Burns Night

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.

A quick guide to wine serving temperatures

A quick guide to wine serving temperatures

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:

Is Aldi or Lidl better value for your Christmas wine?

Is Aldi or Lidl better value for your Christmas 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.

Food villains - 9 awkward customers that could kill your wine

Food villains - 9 awkward customers that could kill your wine

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.

Tesco’s Bordeaux bargains

Tesco’s Bordeaux bargains

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.

More French wine bargains from Lidl

More French wine bargains from Lidl

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.)

9 good reds to buy from Marks & Spencer

9 good reds to buy from Marks & Spencer

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

12 good white wines to buy from Marks & Spencer

12 good white wines to buy from Marks & Spencer

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.

More wines under 12.5%

More wines under 12.5%

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.

The exotic, cooling drinks of Persia

The exotic, cooling drinks of Persia

Sally Butcher of Persepolis, shares the secrets of Iran's delicious non-alcoholic drinks, in time for the Persian new year.

Which wine to pair with Texas BBQ

Which wine to pair with Texas BBQ

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.

My best buys at Waitrose this summer

My best buys at Waitrose this summer

Although I’m deeply sceptical about ‘half price’ offers, the periodical 25% off promotions if you buy six bottles that the supermarkets put on are a great opportunity to buy your favourite wine at a bargain price. Waitrose is the latest to do it and here’s my pick of the wines I’ve tasted recently.

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