Tim Atkin | Master of Wine


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10th Feb 2013

Sir George hits 50

by Tim Atkin

Is there such a thing as the New Zealand dream, a Kiwi equivalent of America’s fabled journey from poverty to prosperity? If so, Sir George Fistonich is surely its personification. Born the second son of Croatian immigrants, whose father came... Read more


3rd Feb 2013

Frank Buck: natural wine hunter

by Ron Washam

They’re out there, natural wines, you can smell them. You just have to hope that they can’t smell you first, smell your fear. I hunt them. Someone has to. I hunt them to bring them back alive to an unknowing audience of wine lovers: people... Read more


27th Jan 2013

Everyday value?

by Matt Walls

Lined up against the wall in my hallway, they stood quietly like forlorn commuters queuing for a bus. These were not bottles to make a taster salivate. Why didn't I suggest a tasting of vintage Champagnes instead, I wondered? But this is the... Read more


26th Jan 2013

2008 Bordeaux revisited

by Sarah Abbott MW

Bordeaux is the most confident and comfortable of fine wines. Great Burgundy is like riding a runaway horse, bareback. Diving into a top Bordeaux is like being chauffeur driven in a purring Bentley. And just as establishment. Any discomfort is... Read more


21st Jan 2013

The meaning of Joseph's Law

by Robert Joseph

First things first. Before getting to the meat of my first contribution to Tim’s site, perhaps I should say a little about who I am and how I came to some of the – to some people, sometimes surprising and annoying views - I often hold. My... Read more


18th Jan 2013

South Africa seizes the day

by Tim Atkin

Is 2013 going to be South Africa’s year? Su Birch, CEO of Wines of South Africa (WOSA), certainly seems to think so, judging by an upbeat press release earlier this week. A cynic might argue that, to paraphrase Mandy Rice–Davies at the time... Read more


7th Jan 2013

The Secret Official Sommelier Manual

by Ron Washam

When I officially became a sommelier, I had to swear on a stack of Karen MacNeil Wine Bibles purchased from the remainder table at Border’s, piled right next to Whole Earth Catalogs (who knew you could order a whole earth?), that I would never... Read more


1st Jan 2013

Georgian qvevri wine: if it's good enough for God . . .

by Simon Woolf

For Father Gerasim, whether to treat his wines with sulphur or any other additive isn't a matter of choice. The imperative is simple. Any impurities in the finished product would render it unworthy in the eyes of... Read more


21st Dec 2012

Crystal ball: the wine world in 2013

by Tim Atkin

Moaning about the weather is second nature to us Brits. However stoical we may claim to be, upper lips stiffened against the wind and rain, we have had a lot to complain about in 2012. To put it bluntly, the year has been a washout. The tourism... Read more


20th Dec 2012

Gaillac the Tortoise

by Matt Walls

Say the word ‘Gaillac’ and what does it conjure up? Not a lot. Florent Plageoles of leading estate Domaine Plageoles confirms “we have a big image problem”. It’s not that it has a poor image, it’s just it doesn’t have much of an... Read more