Cala Llombard, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain. In the Santany municipality, Mediterranean area. Photograph: Simeone Huber/Photographer's Choice/Getty. Go travel October 2009.

Mediterranean islands produce remarkable wines in extraordinary conditions

The network of independent wine shops around the country deserve your support

Companies across Ireland use indigenous wild plants to make delectable gins

Avoid big, alcoholic wines, or you and your guests will be sprawling long before the food is ready. A light, well-chilled refreshing white wine is ideal

Look to the example of sunny countries when choosing bottles

Drinking one wine all the time can get very dull. I have pointed out a few alternatives here before. My favourite would be Riesling, but every country offers their own version of crisp ’n’ dry

Drinking Sauvignon all the time can get dull, but there are alternatives

Julie Dupouy, Best Sommelier in Ireland, and newly crowned third-best sommelier in the world. Photograph: Irish Guild of  Sommeliers

Julie Dupouy took bronze in gruelling world championships of 60 wine experts

Sulphur dioxide (SO2) prevents oxidation in a wine and wards off harmful bacteria. All wines contain small amounts

Medical science argues that SO2 does not cause most people any problems, but a small number will have a severe allergic reaction (...)

Mencía has been described as a cross between Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir.

Pay a little more for the Spanish wine and reap the rewards

Fernet Branca is “like waking up in a foreign country and finding a crowd of people arguing in agitated thorny voices outside your hotel window”.

Dark, sharp and medicinal, the Italian digestif is surprisingly trendy

Each week John Wilson picks a wine and a beer for you to try, this week: Radikale Radical Brew and Pinot Grigio 2015 Roberta Fugat(...)

Lamb is the traditional centrepiece of most Easter feasts. Happily, it is also one of the most wine-friendly foods of all.

Many of us will roast lamb tomorrow and it deserves a nice wine alongside

Zinfandel comes in three colours. You will find the odd genuinely white wine, stripped of both colour and flavour, but the majorit(...)

Brewer Peter Reynier at work.

The Craft Brewers of Ireland love an excuse to come up with a seasonal brew, preferably with a pun or two in the name. A combinati(...)

In 1986, Austria exported some three million litres of wine at a value of €3 million. Three decades on, the volumes have increased to 50 million litres.

A slow-build, three-decade strategy has pushed Austria’s wines, lead by the all-rounder Grüner, into new markets

If you tire of the city, and of wineries, take a relaxing a trip to the amazing beaches of Arcachon or the nearby  Saint-Emilion

The new Cité du Vin gives another good reason to visit the French city

The distinctive green herbal liqueur made by monks is back in vogue

Substantial comfort wines remain ideal companions until spring

Rioja expanded massively in the 1990s and at times the quality of the wine decreased.

No sign of waning popularity for this Spanish wine

Until recently, most large producers concentrated on well-known varieties that were in demand worldwide

A once-unfashionable valley has become a source of funky wines

The difference between what we pay and what people pay in other countries varied according to each wine. However, Ireland is comfortably the most expensive country in which to buy almost all of the wines I looked at

John Wilson investigates how much we pay and how much wine drinkers elsewhere are stumping up

Why should we drink Chardonnay? Well, because it is one of the world’s greatest grapes, producing some of the most complete wines.
The case for Chardonnay

Far from the mouthfuls of oak of the 1990s, this is one of the world’s greatest grapes producing the some of the most complete win(...)

The process of making gin is quicker than whiskey; no long-ageing in barrels or intricate blending of different casks is needed. Gin is all about the botanicals.

Craft gin – the coolest tipple in town – is all about the botanicals

Vineyard, San Vicente de la Sonsierra as background, La Rioja

Europe took a while to take to wine tourism, but now the options are endless

A beer called Rwanda

Each week, John Wilson selects a great beer and wine to try right now. This week: a Beer called Rwanda from Wicklow Wolf and Bénar(...)

It’s not too late
Last minute wine buys

Star buys to consider on your final shopping trolly dash

To make a sweet wine, you can add brandy to a fermenting must, as they do with fortified wines. Or you can simply stop the fermentation by chilling the wine.
Wines: The Sweetest Thing

Naturally sweet wines can be a perfect Christmas treat

Do not get stressed trying to find the perfect wine to match your Christmas dinner

Try these wines when serving up our all-star chefs’ creations in your home

Bottling the taste of Christmas is easier than you might think

Some of the most interesting wines come from just a few importers

Soft creamy cheeses tend to go with acidic wines, and that really means white wines. Tannic red wines tend to go better with hard cheeses.

The famous combination is not necessarily a match made in heaven

The Irish Whiskey Awards is now in its third year, and represents a serious attempt to reward the very best in our expanding whiskey industry

As the whiskey business expands, competition is hotting up

Germany is the third-largest producer of this variety in the world, after France and the US.

German Pinot Noir is well proven, the only problem is sourcing enough of the stuff

Martinborough is a small town, laid out in the shape of a Union Jack by its founder, Irishman John Martin, in the 19th century, on the North Island, an hour’s drive from the capital, Wellington

New Zealand winemakers have conquered the quarrelsome grape

Pierre-Marie Chermette and his wife Martine (above) are one of the very best winemaking teams in Beaujolais

Each week John Wilson selects a great wine and a great beer to try right now. This week: Beaujolais Blanc 2014 Domaine du Vissoux (...)

In very broad brushstrokes, you can divide Spanish wine into three sectors, each a strip running east-west across the country.

Spanish winemakers are using old grape varieties to make new wines

People often talk of the black wine of Cahors; this actually refers to an old method of concentrating the wine before blending it with those of other regions, notably Bordeaux.

Argentina and France compete to get the best from the fashionable grape

Minister for Finance appears unlikely to reduce duty from €3.19 on every bottle of wine sold

The internet has changed the landscape in which wine critics work

Grapes & Wines offers an in-depth view of the major varieties, including where and how each is grown, its history and very usefully, the best producers.

The former actor believes in telling the story behind the wine

In Romania, homemade wine accounts for 50 per cent of consumption. Virtually every household has a row or two of vines out the back, and makes their own wine.

A tour of vineyards revealed some interesting wines

The Spanish wine is becoming a fashionable cocktail addition

What started with a few ambitious growers is now the next big thing in wine trends

Last of the summer wine

Before the nights close in, try some light, fresh and fruity reds

Amid rumours of a shortage of the Italian wine, here are some worthy alternatives

Nowadays most distilleries pay big money for used oak barrels that have been used to store wines and bourbon whisky

Casks from abroad traditionally lend character to whiskey. Irish producers are developing this method

Alsace offers a range of great wines including a few light red wines and some very good rosés, but the region is best known for its fantastic dry white wines

Look out too for Trimbach, Hugel, Josmeyer, Zind-Humbrecht, Weinbach, René Muré, Sipp Mack, Meyer-Fonné and Kientzle

Arguably the greatest blended wine of all is Champagne. Photograph: Thinkstock

Virtually every wine is a blend of some sort

David Rogers of Northbound Brewery in Derry

Each week John Wilson selects a great wine and a great beer to try right now. This week: Northbound 08 Kölsch and Malbec Cabernet (...)

Grüner is Austria’s signature grape, covering almost 30% of all vineyards

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