Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

CorkTalk - Wine for Beginners

Tasting

Black fruits

by Tim Atkin

Black fruits

Wine scribes couldn’t survive without fruit. I don’t mean this in a physical sense, although I’m as conscientious as the next person when it comes to slicing a banana on to my cornflakes in... Read more

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

Tannin

by Tim Atkin

Tannin

I've given up drinking tea on airlines. Sitting at the back of the plane in economy, I'm invariably served last and, by the time the tea gets to me, it has the consistency and colour of estuary mud.... 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

Petrol

by Tim Atkin

Petrol

The satirical columnist, Simon Hoggart, once ran an occasional series of disgusting-sounding tasting notes which, as he put it, 'would make you decide never ever to buy, still less open, the bottle... 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

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

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

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