Nuts

by Tim Atkin
Wine tasting is an inexact science. We professional slurpers talk in generalities rather than specifics. That’s why terms like ‘nutty’ crop up so often in tasting notes. The same goes...

Red Fruits

by Tim Atkin
‘And where were you born?’ someone asked me at a dinner party recently. ‘In an orchard or a hedgerow?’ It’s easy to smile at wine writers. We will happily spend...

Spice

by Tim Atkin
Tasting is an inexact science. Conveying aromas and flavours in words is akin to trying to describe a beautiful piece of music or a great painting: almost impossible. That’s why...

Tannin

by Tim Atkin
I’ve given up drinking tea on airlines. Sitting at the back of the plane in economy, I’m invariably served last and, by the time the tea gets to me, it...

Uco Valley

by Tim Atkin
Buenos Aires may be the capital of Argentina, but the hub of its wine business lies nearly 750 miles to the west in Mendoza. Dominated to spectacular effect by the...

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...