• Sparkling best

    ‘If you choose your vintage champagne carefully, there may be no need to shell out for a prestige cuvée’

  • Why Rhône 2015 is a year to remember

    ‘It is not necessary to pay top dollar in order to experience 2015’s sumptuous combination of ripeness and precision’

  • Roy Richards: The wine merchant’s tale

    ‘Say “Roy” in French wine circles and everybody knows exactly who you mean’

  • Pinot goes global

    ‘The theory that Pinot Noir is so delicate and finicky that it can succeed only in Burgundy is questionable’

  • Wine merchants: the indie crowd

    ‘A rabble of younger independents has flowered while off-licence chains have shrunk’

  • What do we mean by minerality?

    ‘Over the past decade or so, the words mineral and minerality have invaded wine talk and wine writing’

  • Sam Neill: from heartthrob to vintner

    ‘Neill says he puts all his energy “into making beautiful wine and creating beautiful places”’

  • Douro valley and Oporto wines

    ‘Oporto is buzzing — and even Vila Nova de Gaia’s staid old port lodges have transformed themselves’

  • For the sake of sake

    ‘Premium sakes are thriving, quality has increased overall, and more and more people want the world to know about it’

  • Mary Weber Novak, winemaker, 1932-2016

    The matriarch who nurtured her Napa Valley vines to fruitful finesse

  • Why sherry needs more love

    ‘Poor little sherry was relatively insignificant compared with the lucrative, globally famous spirits brands’

  • Grey matters: Sauvignon Gris

    ‘Sauvignon Gris is greatly in vogue thanks to its having a softer appeal and perfume than Sauvignon Blanc’

  • Riesling rising

    ‘The summer of 2015 was so warm and dry that vintners worried the vines would “shut down” and the ripening process stall’

  • Sussex deluxe: the English answer to Krug

    ‘During a visit last May, I was the first outsider to taste finished bottles of Nyetimber’s most luxurious new wine’

  • Treasure island: Sardinia’s unique and exciting wines

    ‘The 16 per cent Dettori is a monument of a wine, to be admired for its daring but not necessarily enjoyed’

  • Swirl, smell, slurp

    ‘At this time of year I thought a few tips on visiting and tasting etiquette might be useful’

  • Sulphur in wine: friend or foe?

    ‘The problem is that if no sulphur dioxide is added, then the wine has no defence against harmful bacteria’

  • Still sparkling?

    ‘Champagne producer Bruno Paillard called the 1996 vintage a “naughty boy” because it was so changeable’

  • When Paris met Napa

    ‘The trend in both Bordeaux and California is to exercise restraint, so that the wines are drinkable in youth’

  • A titan of terroir

    ‘Dubourdieu has often been ahead of his time. The mantra now is “wine is made in the vineyard” — it wasn’t then’

  • The co-ops fight back

    ‘Not before time, there is a growing realisation that to survive, co-ops need to make wines people actively want to drink’

  • The grape detective

    ‘Torres began a quest to rescue Catalan grapes from various points on the spectrum between obscurity and near-extinction’

  • Food-friendly rosés

    ‘I am increasingly enthusiastic about those rosé wines that are bone dry and not too light to stand up to a wide variety of foods’

  • Japanese wines

    ‘The new wave Japanese wines are very much in the same idiom as natural wines, being light-bodied and often relatively crisp’

  • Heaven on Pall Mall

    ‘A lone diner recently chose to wash down his burger with a bottle of Ch Latour 1964 (listed at £567)’

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