Beware of floods, fires and locusts

by Tim Atkin
If “Sex change bishop in mercy dash to Palace” is the funniest fictitious headline ever written, then “Small earthquake in Chile: not many dead” is surely the dullest. Claud Cockburn’s...

French wines and Charles Aznavour

by Tim Atkin
“Fall in love with France again” sounds like a Charles Aznavour song — imagine it crooned in a soft-toned Gallic accent — but it’s actually the title that one importer...

Wine: Is it the real thing?

by Tim Atkin
How could they tell? The recent kerfuffle about fake pinot noir in the Languedoc reminded me of Dorothy Parker’s quip about the death of President Calvin Coolidge. If you missed...

The Fine Wine Game

by Tim Atkin
The hype in Bordeaux began before a single grape had been crushed. The 2009 harvest, according to several château owners, was one of the finest they’d ever seen. Seasoned Bordeaux...

Interview with Pedro Parra

by Tim Atkin
Pedro Parra is crouching in a hole with a small hammer in his hand, chipping away at the soil like a demented sculptor. “Granitic, pure grantic,” he says, lifting a...

And all because the lady loves…

by Tim Atkin
If you are single and fancy taking a flight to New York, Alessandra Rotondi can teach you a thing or two about seduction and wine. You might think that the...

All NZ’s grapes in one basket?

by Tim Atkin
Let’s start this column with something interactive. I’d like you to find a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On the left hand side please list...

Why wine writing matters

by Tim Atkin
It’s open season on wine writers at the moment. If you believe people like Oliver Thring and Tim Hanni, we are misguided elitists talking to one another rather than consumers,...

Batting for Australia

by Tim Atkin
You know things are bad when the Aussies, normally the most chipper of nations, start grouching about their lot. “We’re stuffed, mate,” one of their number told me recently, having...

Tasting notes

by Tim Atkin
Stroll through the vineyards of the De Morgenzon farm in Stellenbosch and the sound that surrounds you is literally music to your ears. It may have to compete with the...

Doctor’s Orders

by Tim Atkin
Clohars-Carnoët or Collioure? That’s the decision the French television channel TF1 has to make over the next month or so, according to a recent article in Le Parisien. These two...