Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

CorkTalk - Wine for Beginners

Tasting

Minerals

by Tim Atkin

Minerals

Can wine taste of the soil? The French, who set great store by such things, are always going on about 'le goût de terroir'. They mean this quite literally on occasion. I once visited a winemaker... Read more

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

Spice

by Tim Atkin

Spice

Tasting is an inexact science. Conveying aromas and flavours in words is akin to trying to describe a beautiful piece of music or a great painting: almost impossible. That's why tasters resort to... Read more

Tasting

Red Fruits

by Tim Atkin

Red Fruits

'And where were you born?' someone asked me at a dinner party recently. 'In an orchard or a hedgerow?' It's easy to smile at wine writers. We will happily spend hours (well, minutes) arguing over... 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

Tasting

Nuts

by Tim Atkin

Nuts

Wine tasting is an inexact science. We professional slurpers talk in generalities rather than specifics. That’s why terms like ‘nutty’ crop up so often in tasting notes. The same goes for... Read more

Tasting

Grapes

by Tim Atkin

Grapes

An Aussie friend of mine once regaled me with a tale about his first day at work in the 1980s. Fresh out of agricultural college and as green as an unripe grape, he turned up ready to put his... Read more

Tasting

Gamey

by Tim Atkin

Gamey

Every day in the world of wine is the Glorious Twelfth. The hunting season may be restricted in Britain – to the relief of thousands of birds and animals, who’d rather not end up in an oven or... Read more

Tasting

Alcohol

by Tim Atkin

Alcohol

Wine without alcohol is a little like Bonnie without Clyde. If you don’t believe me I suggest you buy one of those feeble low-alcohol ‘wines’ (preferably wearing a balaclava in case you meet... Read more