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The Observer

Published:  23 July, 2008

TIM ATKIN MW goes time travelling and lands up in Tutankhamun's tomb. The mystery begins: 'The hieroglyph on its side suggested the jar had contained wine for the afterlife. But what sort?' The presence of tartaric and syringic acid leads to the first discovery: 'The Egyptians drank red wine.' His quest continues with the speculation that 'it tasted a bit like Madeira'. Ultimately, he decides that 'wine is basically the same drink today as it was when they sealed Tutankhamun's tomb'. Give or take a few advancements over the past 7,000 years, no doubt. Atkin's 'Best Cellars' from the Mediterranean include 2004