Prue Leith relives moment of infamous Bake Off spoiler

Baking show host describes going into ‘panic mode’ after naming winner on Twitter hours before final was broadcastGreat British Bake Off judge Prue Leith has said she felt “awful” after she accidentally revealed the name of this year’s winner ahead of the final.The TV star, who congratulated winner Sophie Faldo on Twitter six hours before the show was broadcast, said it was “the most idiotic thing in the world”. Continue...

Low-alcohol wine is not wine, it’s grape juice. Where’s the joy in that? | Fiona Beckett

Supermarkets are reporting booming sales. But you don’t have to get drunk to enjoy the taste and the redolence of the real thing• Fiona Beckett is the Guardian’s wine writerThere’s nothing more dispiriting than the three words “low-alcohol wine”, with the possible exception of “low-fat cheese”. They usually denote a sickly-sweet concoction with little resemblance to anything you would normally drink.Yet sales are booming, according to Tesco and Marks & Spencer, which are both releasing new products to meet the demand. (Mind you, they’ve been saying that for the past 10 years – usually around this time of year, as dry January heaves into view.) Continue...

The best towns and small cities in the US: Eugene, Oregon

Continuing our series about America’s coolest cities we take a trip to Portland’s slightly scruffier little sister – for sport, music and an endearing anarchismPart one: Chapel Hill, North CarolinaThe Slug Queens sum up the spirit of Eugene. Every year the Oregon town hosts an alternative beauty pageant – coinciding with, but independent of, the annual Eugene Celebration – in which outrageously costumed contestants vie for the coveted title. The winners are marked out by a combination of anarchic creativity, wry humour and passionate commitment to their environment: the same qualities that makes this place so unique. Continue...

Counting down a meaningful advent | Letters

Anne Johns alerts readers to an ethically-produced advent calendar that carries the true meaning of ChristmasI share Anne Abbott’s irritation (Letters, 17 November) at the depressing and materialistic selection of advent calendars reviewed in G2 (16 November). However, the sort she yearns for does exist. The Meaningful Chocolate Company, an ethical trading company, produces a cheerful and affordable one featuring the true Christmas story, and including an excellent children’s story and activity booklet with a page for every day in advent. Money from sales goes to support the Funzi and Bodo Trust in equipping a clinic in Kenya. These can be obtained at cathedral shops, some major supermarkets, and elsewhere. Details on www.realadvent.co.uk and www.meaningfulchocolate.co.uk. My lovely German daughter-in-law annually hand-crafts a beautiful advent calendar for our grandchildren, but we still always buy Meaningful Chocolate’s for our adult sons and daughters-in-law, knowing the booklets will go to their children (even if the chocolates don’t.).Anne JohnsDerby• Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com Continue...

Lost in the language of lingerie | Brief letters

Marnie at the ENO | Kezia Dugdale on I’m a Celebrity | Cornwall’s Conservative MPs | Milky coffee | LingerieI was at the dress rehearsal of Marnie at the ENO which was received rapturously by the audience. What a pity that Tim Ashley’s review has such a dismissive heading (A psychological thriller that fails to deliver a thrill, 20 November) when in the review he says it is “superbly done”, praises the singers and their acting, and the staging for its “elegant fluidity”. It is conducted “with great sensitivity”. “The playing and choral singing are outstanding”. This may well put people off from going to see this challenging but fascinating new work – essentially for following the book rather than the Hitchcock film, something that the composer and librettist have made explicit.Sarah CarterCanterbury• A colleague speaking about his home country assured me: “In Pakistan politicians make money while in office whereas in the UK they do it after they leave.” Kezia Dugdale could show a bit more respect for this time-honoured tradition (Labour split as Dugdale joins reality TV show, 21 November). The pace of the MSP’s new move has the appearance of premature remuneration.Geoff ReidBradford Continue...

How to drink wine: a quick guide for Theresa May

Russian state TV criticised the PM for not holding her wine glass by its stem – so here are three tips to help her perfect her etiquetteGiven the tales of Russian trolls infiltrating British media, we perhaps should not attach too much weight to Russian state TV’s recent takedown of Theresa May’s dress sense. There is one element of current affairs show Vesti Nedeli’s critique, however, on which I think we can all agree. “She didn’t pick up her glass by the stem, as is common practice in respectable society,” noted an outraged Dmitry Kiselev. Quite right too, Dmitry.Such behaviour might not be quite so egregious coming from, say, the US president. It might not even be such a faux pas at the office party. But if you are trying to blend into the upper echelons of international diplomacy, it is a surefire way to betray the fact that you are out of your depth. It is the kind of faux pas that Sean Connery remarks upon when Spectre spook Robert Shaw orders a chianti with his dover sole in From Russia With Love: “Red wine with fish; that should have told me something.” (Red with fish is actually perfectly acceptable, by the way, though I would suggest a red burgundy rather than the chianti that Shaw choses.) Continue...