©Ingram Pinn

1955 — a very good year

‘I grew up knowing burgundy,’ Lalou told me. ‘As soon as I was born, my father wet my lips with Le Musigny 1929’

Bordeaux’s woes

‘The big questions are not just how these baby 2014s are priced but whether enough people will care, even if they get the price right’

Cropped out: Cape wine lands

‘Few of the South African young guns can afford to buy land, so for their creative blends they depend on the goodwill of farmers’

Tonics, tinctures and pickles in the bar area at The Ethicurean

The hottest thing at the bar this year

Four centuries after Elizabeth I first enjoyed it, the elixir returns, reinvigorated with native botanicals

Champagne: bursting the bubbly

‘We are left in the dark about too many champagnes. In an ideal world, I’d appreciate information about all ingredients’

Lucky ’07 wines

‘There were too many wines among those we tasted whose producers seemed to think it was enough to carry a famous name’

Santa Barbara wines

‘I’m aware wine tourism can get out of hand. It took me hours to inch, bumper to bumper, into Napa Valley one sunny Sunday last month’

Photo: Thea Baddiley
©Thea Baddiley

Corking UK figures for champagne sales

Second-biggest market for the celebration tipple after France

Climate change and wine’s alcohol levels

‘’For wine drinkers, the most striking effect of climate change is the rise in alcohol levels. Who wants to drink a wine that can offer little other than alcohol?’

Argentina’s higher plain

‘I tasted the Zuccardis’ range of high-altitude wines, and it is light years from what has been the rich, oaky Argentine norm’

A large glass of Sussex, bartender

Wineries set to apply to EU for protected origin status

Hermitage 2013

‘One of the most frequent laments I hear during my annual visits to the northern Rhône is how difficult it is to sell Hermitage’

Chile’s cool crew

The regions being plundered by Chile’s new generation of wine producers are to the south of the traditional ones

Bonhams auction signals fine wine recovery

Data suggest demand stabilising after years of volatility

Postcard from . . . the Jura

The Percée du Vin Jaune sees the new vintage of the local wine blessed in church by a bishop — but it is also a pretext for a joyous winter street party

Tenth amendments: 2005 red Bordeaux

‘The most impressive thing about the 2005 bordeaux vintage is how consistently exciting it is’

Terroir incognita

‘These were stunning wines by any measure, from vines between 40 and 70 years old in this rugged corner of southern Africa’

Wine claims top drink title from beer

Brewers cheer first sales rise for a decade but warn of tax threat to pubs

Swiss wines

‘It had been some time since I had tasted many Swiss wines, and I was truly excited by much of what I saw’

White meets its match

An increasing proportion of whites are high in acidity, have no trace of the toastiness of oak and have the flinty smell of recently struck matches

Britons to spend more on wine than French

UK on course to overtake France as second-largest still wine market by value behind the US

Romania’s grape hopes

According to some estimates, no fewer than 120 new wineries came onstream in Romania last year alone

Burgundy 2013

‘We have some indication of what sort of Burgundy vintage 2013 is: far from opulent but fresh and focused’

Subsidising wine

The EU has now increased the sum available for promoting wine over the period 2014 to 2018 by 121 per cent to €1.15bn

Chilled dry sherry is the new cool drink

Retailers and tapas bars are bringing the Spanish drink to a new generation of consumers

Top 20 sparkling wines

No shortage of luxurious fizz for the holidays with a few bargains at the top of the list

The other glass ceiling: female winemakers

‘Women are the most powerful economic force in the world’s wine market‘

Top 20 white and fortified wines

These vintages gained a score of at least 17 out of 20 and range from sweet and/or strong to dry and light

Christmas red wines

Twenty of the finest reds to have spread themselves across my palate over the past few months

Southern Rhône wines

The 2013 Grenache crop was down about 30 per cent but some vineyards lost up to 90 per cent of their potential production

A seismic shift in the Mount Etna wine region

Etna was about to be engulfed not by molten lava but by an influx of wine producers

The Queen’s wine merchants

For well over two centuries Justerini & Brooks and Berry Bros have done battle in the British marketplace

Best of 2014 - A bear’s market

Prices in California have stopped heading skywards – good news if, like me, you love the sumptuousness of its top-quality wines

Crossroads for Côte d’Or

‘Land in Burgundy is no longer affordable for Burgundians . . . Those with an eye to the future are investing in cheaper land to the south’

Tempranillo rising

Tempranillo went from being the world’s 24th most-planted grape in 1990 to fourth position in 2010

Winemakers make a U-turn

An increasing number of winemakers are expressing disaffection with the wines they made in the past

The best Paris wine shops, or cavistes

By far the busiest of Paris’s most interesting wine shops was a new one on the edge of the Marais that sells not a bottle of French wine

Pure pleasure: the natural wine bar scene

In little more than five years ‘vins naturels’ have become a sensation in Paris. An expert on the subject picks her favourite places to imbibe

Best champagnes and sparkling wines

The judges worked over seven consecutive days. We must assume that all three have resilient tooth enamel and acid-resistant palates

Baroness Philippine de Rothschild

‘Philippine had run Mouton Rothschild since 1988, when her father died, with such energy that it surprised many of us to learn that she had turned 80’