Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

CorkTalk - Wine for Beginners

Grapes

Merlot

by Tim Atkin

Merlot

A South American friend of mine once paid an unannounced visit to Château Pétrus. He’s not a naive person by nature, but on this occasion he was being rather optimistic. The chance of being... Read more

Grapes

Sauvignon Blanc

by Tim Atkin

Sauvignon Blanc

My local wine merchant was in conspiratorial mood. ‘I have a couple of bottles under the counter. I can let you have them but, for goodness’ sake, don’t tell anyone where you got them.’ ... Read more

Grapes

Chardonnay

by Tim Atkin

Chardonnay

‘Hello, sir, and welcome to the Chardonnay country club.’ I’ve heard some silly things in my time, but naming a Napa Valley golf and tennis complex after a grape variety takes some beating. ... Read more

Grapes

Pinot Gris

by Tim Atkin

Pinot Gris

As a kid, I was a great fan of a cartoon show called Secret Squirrel. (Yes, I am that old.) The furtive rodent was a master of disguise. I don’t recall if SS drank wine, but I reckon I’ve... Read more

Grapes

Pinot Noir

by Tim Atkin

Pinot Noir

The legendary jazzman and humorist Ronnie Scott once introduced a concert at his London club with the following words: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, the last time this person played in London, a lot of... Read more

Grapes

Riesling

by Tim Atkin

Riesling

A wine merchant friend of mine likes to play an innocuous trick on members of the public. When novice punters come up to him at tastings and ask for a glass of Chardonnay, he pours them a Riesling... Read more

Grapes

Semillon

by Tim Atkin

Semillon

To the uninitiated, harvesting grapes can seem like a lot of fun. What could be nicer than walking, secateurs in hand, down a row of fruit-laden vines, with autumn sunshine dappling your face and... 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

Gewürztraminer

by Tim Atkin

Gewürztraminer

On my first visit to Istanbul, I spent a fascinating, if expensive, afternoon amid the colourful madness of the Grand Bazaar. There were slick performances from salesmen offering ‘big cheapness’... Read more