Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

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12th May 2011

What's wrong with the UK wine scene

by Tim Atkin

In case you hadn't noticed, we're in the middle of National Wine Month, an initiative launched by the admirable Wine & Spirit Education Trust. I may have missed the road shows, the street parties, the pop up tastings and the impromptu... Read more

 

28th Apr 2011

The joy of blind tastings

by Tim Atkin

They may not be as unpopular as estate agents, traffic wardens or international bankers, but wine tasters are generally regarded with suspicion and even derision by the general public. I still keep an angry letter from a reader of The... Read more

 

15th Apr 2011

Bordeaux 2010: should you believe the hype?

by Tim Atkin

At a drinks party during the Masters of Wine Symposium in Bordeaux last June I was talking to Jean-Guillaume Prats, the general manager of Château Cos d'Estournel. What would the Bordelais do, I mused, if 2010 turned out to be another great... Read more

 

31st Mar 2011

RIP, Oddbins

by Tim Atkin

RIP, Odbins. When the Wimbledon-based chain was in its award-winning pomp writing those words would have been unimaginable, like predicting that the sun wouldn’t rise tomorrow. But after yesterday’s vote at the creditors’ meeting at... Read more

 

20th Mar 2011

Can California crack the UK market?

by Tim Atkin

It was George Bernard Shaw who described England and the United States as "two nations divided by a common language." The famous quote kept coming back to me on a recent tour of California's vineyards. The countries have their similarities --... Read more

 

16th Mar 2011

The trouble with non-vintage Champagne

by Tim Atkin

It’s a while since I’ve tasted a line-up of more than 60 non-vintages Champagnes in a single sitting. Well, standing actually. But the annual event in the sumptuous surroundings of London’s Banqueting Hall (from a window of which Charles I... Read more

 

5th Mar 2011

Making sense of Sangiovese

by Tim Atkin

How do you make sense of Italian wine? The country has more indigenous grapes than any other (somewhere between 800 and 1000 at a rough estimate) many of which are planted in a single region and nowhere else. Italian varieties are notoriously... Read more

 

1st Mar 2011

Juel Mahoney's take on 2006 Brunello di Montalcino vintage

by Tim Atkin

There's something reminiscent of Fashion Week about the Benvenuto Brunello event in Montalcino, with visitor passes, photographers, security guards and large tents. Amongst it all, this is where I tasted the latest vintage of 2006 Brunello di... Read more

 

21st Feb 2011

Searching for the succulence of Pinot Noir

by Tim Atkin

There are some tastings that you’d cross a busy motorway intersection blindfold to attend. I don’t know what does it for you, but a line-up of village level, premier and grand cru red Burgundies is my idea of heaven, especially when it... Read more

 

19th Feb 2011

An agnostic's view of natural wines

by Tim Atkin

The future of wine or a heap of hooey? Just like bio-dynamics, Dr Rudolf Steiner's so-called "spiritual science", the subject of natural wines tends to provoke extreme opinions. Listening to a discussion between a strong advocate and an... Read more