The other side of own-label

by Tim Atkin
As oxymorons go, they may not be as absurd as “French resistance”, “amicable divorce” and “camping holiday”, but there’s still something fundamentally silly about Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Spaghetti Bolognese,...

Rasputin and underwater wines

by Tim Atkin
What is it about the Baltic and champagne? Last week’s high profile discovery of a cache of bubbly aboard a shipwreck is not the first time fizz has been found...

Wines to drink by the Med

by Tim Atkin
When the package tour operator Goldtrail Travel collapsed last week, cancelling the summer holidays of some 50,000 customers, bar owners in Greece and Turkey must have had mixed feelings. Goldtrail’s...

In praise of natural wine

by Tim Atkin
The wine style I want to promote doesn’t come from a specific region, although most of its exponents are French and Italian. More frustratingly still, it has no legal definition...

A toast to Spain

by Tim Atkin
Oh to have been in Rioja when Spain clinched the World Cup on Sunday. The spot I would have chosen is Los Caños, one of my favourite tapas bars, which...

How fine is Tesco’s Finest*?

by Tim Atkin
Tesco’s Finest, or rather Finest*, wine range is celebrating its tenth birthday at the moment, complete with a press tasting, some corporate chest beating and a Finest Limited Edition 2000...

Reds to help you chill out this summer

by Tim Atkin
The sommelier’s eyebrows arched like circumflex accents as he spat the words back at me, Gallic steam hissing from his ears. “Vous voulez un seau à glace?” he demanded incredulously,...

Eating out? Please bring a bottle

by Tim Atkin
How do you spend $47,221.09 on lunch for six people? Assuming your credit card company will authorise the transaction, it’s surprisingly easy if you’re a billionaire. To paraphrase Withnail in...

Au revoir, Chamarré?

by Tim Atkin
“Made in France, enjoyed everywhere,” runs the tag line on Chamarré’s appropriately colourful website. At the time of writing, both parts of this statement remain true, but for how much...

The trouble with Australia

by Tim Atkin
Australians don’t do pessimism. They’re generally such a chipper, stop-moaning-and-get on with-it nation that they’d rather share a hot tub with a great white shark than be accused of whingeing...