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

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

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

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

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

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

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