Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

CorkTalk - Wine for Beginners

Tasting

Cat's pee

by Tim Atkin

Cat's pee

Scatological tasting terms are comparatively rare in wine. Fearful of offending their readers’ sensibilities, writers tend to employ euphemisms: farmyard, cheesy, goaty, vegetal, rustic or sweaty.... Read more

Tasting

Cedarwood

by Tim Atkin

Cedarwood

Wine tasting is full of anomalies and paradoxes. How can a liquid that has been aged in oak taste of cedarwood, for example? Yet cedarwood is a perfectly legitimate description for oaky young reds,... Read more

Regions

The Douro Valley

by Tim Atkin

The Douro Valley

If you’re fond of trains, the 110 mile trip from Oporto to Pocinho, close to the Spanish border, is one of the most beautiful railway journeys in the world. For the first hour or so, you’d... Read more

Tasting

Winespeak

by Tim Atkin

Winespeak

Wine writers knowingly run the risk of an appearance in Private Eye's Pseuds’ Corner every time they describe a wine. The vocabulary of taste, surely the most intimate of our senses, used to be... Read more

Regions

Napa Valley

by Tim Atkin

Napa Valley

The Napa Valley is the most famous wine region in the Americas and arguably in the entire New World – think Bordeaux crossed with the Hollywood Hills and more than a touch of Wall Street - but its... Read more

Regions

Bordeaux

by Tim Atkin

Bordeaux

Bordeaux is the world’s most famous fine wine region. Other areas may be more beautiful, more historic or blessed with better food, but Bordeaux is home to the greatest percentage of the globe’s... Read more

Grapes

Cabernet Sauvignon

by Tim Atkin

Cabernet Sauvignon

If grape varieties were football teams – bear with me for a second if you’d rather eat iron filings than hear about our beleaguered national sport – then Cabernet Sauvignon would win the... Read more

Grapes

Sangiovese

by Tim Atkin

Sangiovese

‘Welcome to the home of the fiasco,’ said the sharply suited Italian. Strange things have happened to me in wineries over the years – my favourite was a board outside a mock Napa Valley... Read more

Grapes

Grenache

by Tim Atkin

Grenache

Jacques Reynaud, the late owner of Château Rayas, was notorious for playing tricks on journalists. A friend of mine once told me a story about turning up for a pre-arranged tasting to find the... Read more