Sicily

by Tim Atkin
Sicily is a paradox. The largest island in the Mediterranean is the most familiar of Italy’s 20 regions, thanks to Cinema Paradiso, Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s The Leopard, horse’s heads, Marlon...

Central Otago

by Tim Atkin
What would persuade anyone to throw themselves off a bridge, 43 metres above a tumbling torrent of cold water with a cord around their ankles? You can imagine the raised...

Burgundy

by Tim Atkin
One of my favourite Monty Python sketches is the All England Summarise Proust Competition, where contestant are required to précis all seven volumes of the French novelist’s masterpiece, “A la...

Grapes

by Tim Atkin
An Aussie friend of mine once regaled me with a tale about his first day at work in the 1980s. Fresh out of agricultural college and as green as an...

Gamey

by Tim Atkin
Every day in the world of wine is the Glorious Twelfth. The hunting season may be restricted in Britain – to the relief of thousands of birds and animals, who’d...

Cedarwood

by Tim Atkin
Wine tasting is full of anomalies and paradoxes. How can a liquid that has been aged in oak taste of cedarwood, for example? Yet cedarwood is a perfectly legitimate description...

Cat’s pee

by Tim Atkin
Scatological tasting terms are comparatively rare in wine. Fearful of offending their readers’ sensibilities, writers tend to employ euphemisms: farmyard, cheesy, goaty, vegetal, rustic or sweaty. The French use the...

Black fruits

by Tim Atkin
Wine scribes couldn’t survive without fruit. I don’t mean this in a physical sense, although I’m as conscientious as the next person when it comes to slicing a banana on...

Alcohol

by Tim Atkin
Wine without alcohol is a little like Bonnie without Clyde. If you don’t believe me I suggest you buy one of those feeble low-alcohol ‘wines’ (preferably wearing a balaclava in...