Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

CorkTalk - Wine for Beginners

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

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

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

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

Zinfandel

by Tim Atkin

Zinfandel

'No wimpy wines' reads the sign outside Ravenswood, Joel Peterston's eccentric base in the Sonoma Valley. Or, for Spanish-speakers, 'No vinos sin huevos' (no wines without balls!). Peterson... 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

Tempranillo

by Tim Atkin

Tempranillo

Cenicero is one of the nicest towns in Rioja, with a picturesque central square, narrow streets of white-walled houses and an elevated walkway full of old-timers in black berets philosophically... Read more

Grapes

Shiraz

by Tim Atkin

Shiraz

I’ve always considered it neatly ironic that Shiraz, one of the world’s greatest red grape varieties, takes its name from a town in Iran. Ironic because Iran is not exactly a wine drinker’s... 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