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Tim Atkin MW: The cost of the dream

Published:  02 August, 2018

Is marriage a matter of the head or the heart? Driving back from my godson’s wedding in Nottingham recently, I heard an interview with Baroness Fiona Shackleton, Britain’s leading divorce lawyer, on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, about this very conundrum.

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Tim Atkin MW: State of the Union Jack

Published:  09 March, 2018

What does the Union Jack symbolise to you? Pride? Shame? Sovereignty? Populism? Peace? Colonialism? All are possible responses and have been almost since the flag was designed in 1800 to reflect the Act of Union between Great Britain and Ireland. As Tim Marshall writes in his recent book, Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of Flags, “its beauty or otherwise is in the eye, imagination and politics of the beholder”.

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Tim Atkin MW: Day Zero looms for South Africa

Published:  09 February, 2018

“Day Zero” sounds like the title of a dystopian disaster movie, starring Matt Damon or an ageing Bruce Willis perhaps. But what’s happening in South Africa right now has nothing to do with fantasy or fiction. On the contrary, it’s all too real. If you’ve not been reading the news from Cape Town recently, the city is about to run out of water. On January 18, the city’s mayor, Patricia de Lille, said that the “point of no return” had been reached and that, if things continue as they are with little or no rainfall, by April 12 (Day Zero), the taps will be turned off.

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Tim Atkin MW: Taking the temperature of Chile

Published:  15 January, 2018

The samples didn’t look very special, to be honest. Bottled in the sort of thing they ask you to fill in doctor’s surgeries, they’d arrived by plane from the south that morning courtesy of Fernando Almeda of Miguel Torres Chile. The reality was considerably more exciting than the makeshift package, however. I was about to taste the first releases from the world’s most southerly vineyard.

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Tim Atkin MW: Wine's luxury lustre

Published:  06 December, 2017

Serendipity is part of the pleasure of owning a wine cellar. Unless you’re the kind of person who keeps a log of every bottle that’s down there – I’m as organised as the next Virgo, but there are limits – these chance discoveries are wonderful. Well, most of the time. For every bottle of oxidised Condrieu or dried-out claret, there are dozens that are exciting to unearth. I had a bottle of 2006 TMV Swartland Syrah recently, made by Chris and Andrea Mullineux before they set up their own now globally famous winery in South Africa, and it was a revelation.

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Tim Atkin: Semillon - The Naked Grape

Published:  06 October, 2017

When I was younger, fitter and considerably trimmer than I am now, I took part (twice) in a wine trade version of The Full Monty for charity. The name of our group of buffed-up writers, sommeliers and importers was The Semillons (geddit?). So, when I received an invitation to an event called The Semillon Sessions recently, part of me hoped that a new group of amateur strippers would be strutting their moves on a stage somewhere.

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The week that was

Published:  22 September, 2017

In case you missed some of the headlines this week on harpers.co.uk, we have put together a review of the top online news, Q&As, and opinion stories.

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The Pinot Noir Alliance announces first session

Published:  18 September, 2017

Five producers from some of the world’s most famous Pinot Noir producing regions are teaming up to promote the variety worldwide.

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Tim Atkin MW: Roll over leafroll

Published:  11 July, 2017

Tim Atkin MW, wine critic, broadcaster and co-chair of the IWC, talks about the the disease behind South Africa's beautiful autumn colours which is causing significant damage to the country's vines 

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Tim Atkin MW: Why wine and food pairing is not an art

Published:  07 June, 2017

At the height of her fame as a Strictly Come Dancing and Celebrity Fit Club contestant, ex-Tory MP Ann Widdecombe was asked to write a book about how to lose weight. Her response was that were she to produce such a work, it would be very short. So short indeed that it would contain just two simple injunctions: “eat less” and “exercise more”. 

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The political threat to our wine life

Published:  10 March, 2017

"Stick to wine, Tim - you're wasting time." If you spend as many hours as I do on social media channels, you get used to - and even rather enjoy - the odd spat, but this was different.

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Tim Atkin MW: Can artificial intelligence replace human judgment in the world of wine?

Published:  08 February, 2017

What do you think of the following tasting note? "Inconspicuous boysenberries and cigar wrappers revel in unresolved rosehips, while dried wormwood and chemically tanned leather swim amongst illusive black liquorice." And this? "Like a sherry, wet wool, mead, musk and nail polish remover cocktail." 

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Tim Atkin MW: Burgundy 2015 - a year for the little guys?

Published:  11 January, 2017

Burgundy and Bordeaux may share a common language, but they are very different places.

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Tim Atkin MW: The rise of the counterfeit wine trade around the globe

Published:  05 December, 2016

Investigative journalism is a dangerous business. Indeed, you could argue that in its purest form it's often fatal.

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Tim Atkin MW: Rioja's future lies in diversity, not uniformity

Published:  09 November, 2016

The poster in Vivanco's Museum of Wine Culture said it all. It was first published in 2001, but it looked much older than that.

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Tim Atkin MW: What will happen to brand Brangelina?

Published:  30 September, 2016

You can always rely on the wine trade to show a sense of perspective. As Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie prepare to eviscerate one another in the divorce courts, no doubt damaging the lives of their six children in the process, the question on everyone's lips is: what's going to happen to Château Miraval?

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Tim Atkin MW: The impossible task of running a generic body

Published:  02 September, 2016

Tim Atkin MW looks at the challenges of running a generic body and how producers may often times have unrealistic expectations of a single person or job.

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Tim Atkin MW: Embracing change and pushing boundaries

Published:  05 August, 2016

Liks so many industries the wine world is in flux and Tim Atkin challenges that may not be a bad thing.

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Tim Atkin: What will an EU exit mean for the wine trade?

Published:  08 July, 2016

What will Brexit mean for the wine business? In the traumatic week that has followed the referendum and the decision of 52% of voters to leave the European Union, the very question has seemed increasingly, almost fatuously, irrelevant.

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Tim Atkin MW: Where does Spain fit in the battle for wine supremacy?

Published:  03 June, 2016

Tim Atkin takes a look at Spanish terrior and where Spanish wines fit in the hieracrchy for supermacy as a top wine producing country.

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