Winespeak

by Tim Atkin
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...

Wine Vintages

One of my favourite cartoons, published by the Pacific Wine Company, depicts a vintage bore surrounded by people who’ve hanged themselves out of tedium: ‘I’ve just started drinking the 1982s,...

Top UK Wine Merchants

If you’re serious about developing a wine collection, don’t overlook the UK’s splendid array of independent wine merchants. These companies aren’t the cheapest places to buy a bottle of basic...

Tannin

by Tim Atkin
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...

Nuts

by Tim Atkin
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...

Petrol

by Tim Atkin
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,...

Minerals

by Tim Atkin
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...

Herbs

by Tim Atkin
Getting carried away is easy when you’ve wandering among the vines. Many are the tasters who claim to have identified aspects of the local flora in the character of a...

Spice

by Tim Atkin
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...

Red Fruits

by Tim Atkin
‘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...