Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

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29th Sep 2010

Wine, moustaches and 50 words for snow

by Tim Atkin

The Inuit languages famously have more than 50 words to describe different types of snow, enabling native speakers to distinguish between a landscape that is variously fresh, firm, packed, rippled, crusty, wind-beaten, threatening or ideal... Read more

 

24th Sep 2010

In praise of older wines

by Tim Atkin

How long does it take you to drink a bottle of wine once you've bought it? A day? A week? A year? I'm not sure how accurate the statistic is, but the word in the wine trade is that nine out of ten bottles are emptied within 48 hours of... Read more

 

19th Sep 2010

Are wine consumers stupid?

by Tim Atkin

One of my favourite “Yobs” cartoons from Private Eye shows a couple of thugs sitting at a restaurant table. “Great,” says the male skinhead to the sommelier awaiting his verdict on a bottle of wine, “we’ll have one each.” The... Read more

 

17th Sep 2010

The cult of the winemaker

by Tim Atkin

The death of the Nouvelle Vague film director Claude Chabrol earlier this week has prompted a spate of national mourning in France, with president Sarkozy comparing the great man to Balzac and Rabelais, no less. The French revere their film... Read more

 

10th Sep 2010

Syrah: New Zealand's other great red

by Tim Atkin

Back in 2007, I was one of a number of journalists who attended New Zealand's first ever Syrah Symposium in Hawke's Bay. It was a bold -- some might say vainglorious - undertaking in a country where the grape of the Rhône and Barossa Valleys... Read more

 

10th Sep 2010

Jilly G, Gary V and wine TV

by Tim Atkin

Call me a member of an endangered minority, but I still miss Food and Drink, the BBC cookery show that Delia Smith once dubbed "the most disgusting programme on television". I'm not talking about the stilted studio-based format, the earnest,... Read more

 

2nd Sep 2010

Turning water into wine

by Tim Atkin

Someone once described the BBC as the "least worst" television service in the world, an opinion which remains valid while the licence fee continues to exist. The quote reminded me of a discussion that's taking place in the wine world about... Read more

 

2nd Sep 2010

Acid trip

by Tim Atkin

"Buy on an apple, sell on a piece of cheese," runs an old wine trade saw. It's good advice for consumers, too. If a wine, especially a red wine, can survive the tart, hard-skinned assault of a slice of Granny Smith, then it must be special.... Read more

 

26th Aug 2010

In defence of Chardonnay

by Tim Atkin

What's the most insulting thing you can do to a grape? Mixing it with cola, lemonade or tonic water is a slap in the face, but the lowest of low blows is surely to confuse it with a sultana. That's what some of the biggest wine companies Down... Read more

 

19th Aug 2010

Sherry: the world's greatest fortified wine

by Tim Atkin

It's the first rule of pessimism that when things are bad they invariably get worse. Just ask Sarah Ferguson or the nine Sherry bodegas who were recently fined E6.7m by Spain's National Competition Commission. At a time when the region is... Read more