Features & guest posts

What to drink in a heatwave

What to drink in a heatwave

With temperatures breaking records all over Europe this summer, the official advice is not to drink alcohol and that may be wise in the heat of the day but evening drinks are not called a sundowner for nothing.

10 tips for cold weather drinking

10 tips for cold weather drinking

With temperatures falling well below freezing over the coming week it’s a timely reminder that matching drinks is not just about flavour but temperature and alcohol levels too.

Must grouse wine matches be classic?

Must grouse wine matches be classic?

I’m always in two minds about whether to write about the beginning of the grouse season. After all only a tiny number of people will be sufficiently interested - or well-heeled - to bag the first birds that arrive on restaurant tables this evening.

How to pair beer and food

How to pair beer and food

I was recently asked the question: "What am i looking for when matching beer and food? Do I want a beer with a similar taste or should I be looking for a contrast?"

Chinese New Year is a celebration of feasts and family

Chinese New Year is a celebration of feasts and family

Food, drink and travel writer Qin Xie explains what the Chinese drink with the most important feast of the year and what goes down well in her own family.

What sort of wine to buy in a bin end sale: 12 tips to help you bag a bargain

What sort of wine to buy in a bin end sale: 12 tips to help you bag a bargain

If friends and family have drunk you out of house and home over the holiday you may be looking to top up your stocks at this time of year, especially as many merchants have bin end or clearance sales. But is buying wine that way a good idea?

The best of Waitrose’s white wines, fizz and stickies: November 2016

The best of Waitrose’s white wines, fizz and stickies: November 2016

There are always so many wines at the Waitrose tasting I rarely end up doing justice to the whites but here are some bottles I’ve picked out for Christmas, along with some fizz and stickies.

The 10 trickiest foods to pair with wine

The 10 trickiest foods to pair with wine

Look up any guide to food and wine matching and you’ll find a list of foods that are regarded as anathema to wine. I’ve done it myself but have come to the conclusion recently that the problems are overstated.

How to eat - and drink - like a Tuscan

How to eat - and drink - like a Tuscan

A re-run of a piece I wrote a few years ago following a trip to Tuscany which reminded me how differently Italians approach food and wine from how we would eat and drink in an Italian restaurant here or at home.

Italian beer and food matching at Tozi

Italian beer and food matching at Tozi

Sophie Atherton reports on the introduction of a new range of 'birra artigianale' (craft beer) at ciccetti restaurant, Tozi.

The best match for caviar - vodka or champagne?

The best match for caviar - vodka or champagne?

For those of you who are lucky enough to be serving caviar this New Year's Eve I just dug this post I wrote back in 2009 out of the archives. Is champagne or vodka the better pairing? (I must confess the *research* was fun ...)

10 of the best champagne buys under £20

10 of the best champagne buys under £20

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.

Which wines to pick with vegetarian food?

Which wines to pick with vegetarian food?

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.)

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.

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.

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