What makes a great sommelier?

by Tim Atkin
It’s been a mixed month for Gallic gastronomy. If the French were insulted by the fact that their country didn’t feature once in Restaurant Magazine’s list of the top 10...

Riesling and the high Mosel bridge

by Tim Atkin
“Ah, classic aromas of petrol on the nose.” Professional wine speak can sound silly at the best of times, but the description that invariably makes punters splutter into their Paris...

Teaching students to drink wine

by Tim Atkin
When I first heard about a French government proposal to hold wine tastings on university campuses, I assumed it was a belated April Fool. But the more you think about...

Bordeaux plays cat and mouse

by Tim Atkin
There were sixteen flags fluttering forlornly in the drizzle outside Château Ducru-Beaucaillou, each representing a different nation. Some of them were making their debuts at the 2009 en primeur tastings,...

Thank you, Mr Darling

by Tim Atkin
Even when you’re prepared for it, a punch to the stomach still hurts. Alistair Darling warned the wine industry in March 2008 that the annual duty escalator would be 2%...

Are we ready for Turkish wine?

by Tim Atkin
“Read it? I know him.” Travelling around Turkey on a wine trip, there are times when you’re reminded of the joke about the Polish man who goes to the optician’s...

A Hedonist’s Paradise

by Tim Atkin
No one needs an excuse to go to Wellington, New Zealand’s most cosmopolitan, food-loving city, when it’s central heating and thermals time back in Europe. But throw in the chance...

Happy Birthday, Cloudy Bay

by Tim Atkin
Happy birthday, Cloudy Bay. As the first grapes of 2010 are picked in Marlborough, New Zealand’s largest wine region, the country’s most famous winery is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Who...

The cheat’s guide to wine

by Tim Atkin
There must be some very long faces on the other side of the Channel at the moment. The French have always suspected we were a treacherous bunch, but they’ve just...

A beginner’s guide to Champagne

by Tim Atkin
THE WINE BOX Become an instant expert — this month: Champagne Dom Pérignon didn’t invent bubbles; we did. Christopher Merret presented a paper to the Royal Society about sparkling wine...