King of the hill

by Tim Atkin
A visitor to Angelo Gaja’s winery in Barbaresco fell to his knees on a recent tasting tour and tried to kiss the great man’s hands. “Please get up,” Gaja told...

Christmas reds and whites

by Tim Atkin
WHITE   2008 Errazuriz Chardonnay, Casablanca Valley (£4.99 each for two, 13.5%, Majestic). Reduced from £7.99, which makes it a stunning deal, this is an easy drinking, peach and citrus...

First Quench hits the wall

by Tim Atkin
Remember the date. For anyone who works in the booze trade, not least those of you who are employed by First Quench Retailing, October 29th 2009 could turn out to...

Turn on the lights

by Tim Atkin
Where are we to find such bottles? It’s harder than you might think, particularly if you want to drink something at 12% or below. White wines from the cooler parts...

Seeing the Light

by Tim Atkin
Imagine the scene in A&E. A patient is nursing a badly sprained wrist and the duty doctor asks what happened. Various possibilities jostle in his mind. Over-enthusiastic gym visit? Domestic...

What the general public drinks

by Tim Atkin
If I had a tenner for every time a supermarket retailer has told me that “we’re giving our customers what they want”, I’d have retired to an offshore tax haven...

Land of Plenty

by Tim Atkin
There can’t be many people who would pay £410 for a bottle of red wine. Even by the silly-money standards of Bordeaux, that’s a huge amount of dosh. But pay...

A Vine Romance

by Tim Atkin
Ever fancied making your own wine? Judging by the number of people who tell me they’re considering a change of lifestyle, moving to somewhere where the sun shines and no...

Laithwaites on the up

by Tim Atkin
Laithwaites, the UK’s biggest home-delivery wine business, has always reminded me of Dan Brown: loved by the general public, but dismissed as a bit of a joke by us critics....

Adolfo Hurtado

by Tim Atkin
Relaxed, friendly and unfazed, Adolfo Hurtado is equanimity made flesh. There may be moments when he loses his rag mid-harvest — berating a hapless cellar hand or smashing his knuckles...

Judging books by their covers

by Tim Atkin
In case you missed the hoopla, Dan Brown’s new novel, The Lost Symbol, was published on September 15th. In the space of a few weeks, Mr Brown has sold more...

A toast to Grenache

by Tim Atkin
TS Eliot got it wrong in my view: October, not April, is the cruellest month. Once the clocks go back you know you’re in for a winter of sniffles, short...