Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

Posted 17th May 2018

News from Tim

News from Tim

Welcome to timatkin.com. I hope you like the site and find lots to read and enjoy, especially the in-depth reports we've published on Rioja, the Rhône, South Africa, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Argentina, Chile, Brunello, Washington State, Napa and Oregon. There are also regular columns by Ron Washam (aka The HoseMaster of Wine), Matt Walls, Christy Canterbury MW and Celia Bryan-Brown. Tim Atkin MW


Most recent

Wine's race to the bottom
by Tim Atkin

Posted 17th May 2018

Does anyone remember Safeway? In its day, it had one of the best supermarket wine ranges in the UK: diverse, daring and invariably well selected. When the chain was taken over by Morrisons in March 2004, its then director of wine, Matthew Stubbs MW, was summoned to a meeting to conduct a range review. Stubbs assumed that there would be a month-long comparative tasting. Was Safeway’s Côtes du Rhône better than Morrisons’? Who had the better Rioja Crianza? And what about the more esoteric wines? Was there room for those? The tasting was much shorter than he anticipated. In fact, it wasn’t a tasting at all. It was just an exercise in comparing spreadsheets. Whose wine was cheaper, Morrisons’ bean counter wanted to know...

Wine of the Week

2015 Boutinot Les Six, Cairanne, Rhône Valley

(£12.99, 14.5%, D. Byrne)

Made with six different varieties - nothing compared with Châteuneuf-du-Pape's 14, but still quite a large number - this is a superb, modern, Grenache-dominated Cairanne, which carries its comparatlvely high alcohol lightly, thanks to the structure and acidity of the 2015 vintage. Spicy tapenade and wild herb aromas segue into a smooth, deftly oaked palate with very fine tannins and a core of sweet, tarry blackberry and blueberry fruit. Outstanding value. 

93 points


About Tim

I’m an award-winning wine writer and Master of Wine with 33 years’ experience. I write for a number of publications, including Harpers, DecanterThe World of Fine WineGourmet Traveller Wine, The Drinks Business and Imbibe and am one of the Three Wine Men. I am a co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge, the world’s most rigorously judged blind tasting competition, and have won over 30 awards for my journalism and photography. So far, I don’t have a red nose to show for it.

Awards and recognition

Louis Roederer Wine Website of the Year 2011 and the Born Digital Award for Best Editorial ContentThis site is the winner of the 2014 Fortnum & Mason Online Drink Writer of the Year, the 2014 Louis Roederer Online Communicator of the Year Award, the 2013 and 2011 Louis Roederer Wine Website of the Year and the 2011 Born Digital Awards for Best Editorial Content.

Read about Tim’s own awards.