Merlot

by Tim Atkin
A South American friend of mine once paid an unannounced visit to Château Pétrus. He’s not a naive person by nature, but on this occasion he was being rather optimistic....

Zinfandel

by Tim Atkin
‘No wimpy wines’ reads the sign outside Ravenswood, Joel Peterston’s eccentric base in the Sonoma Valley. Or, for Spanish-speakers, ‘No vinos sin huevos’ (no wines without balls!). Peterson specialises in...

Sangiovese

by Tim Atkin
‘Welcome to the home of the fiasco,’ said the sharply suited Italian. Strange things have happened to me in wineries over the years – my favourite was a board outside...

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...

Maipo Valley

by Tim Atkin
If you’ve ever seen the film “Alive” – and I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re about to tuck into steak tartare – then you’ll know that the Andes are a...

Stellenbosch

by Tim Atkin
With its Cape Dutch architecture, mountain-fringed setting, famous university and a line-up of wineries that reads like a who’s who of the South African industry, Stellenbosch is one of the...

Chardonnay

by Tim Atkin
‘Hello, sir, and welcome to the Chardonnay country club.’ I’ve heard some silly things in my time, but naming a Napa Valley golf and tennis complex after a grape variety...

Chenin Blanc

by Tim Atkin
If patience is a virtue, as the old saw would have it, then it’s a virtue that’s deeply unfashionable. We live in a world dominated by immediacy, instant gratification, attention...

Pinot Noir

by Tim Atkin
The legendary jazzman and humorist Ronnie Scott once introduced a concert at his London club with the following words: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, the last time this person played in London,...