Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

CorkTalk - Wine for Beginners

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

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

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

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

Chenin Blanc

by Tim Atkin

Chenin Blanc

If patience is a virtue, as the old saw would have it, then it’s a virtue that’s deeply unfashionable. We live in a world dominated by immediacy, instant gratification, attention spans that can... 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

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

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

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