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Award-winning Master of Wine, journalist, presenter, wine judge and photographer. Saturday Kitchen regular. Also comment about books, films, sport and music. More here: http://timatkin.com

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Island of discoveries

Tenerife is package tour central, served by dozens of airlines holiday makers to resorts like the Playa de los Américas, but it’s also much more than that: a beautiful island with an intriguing history, stunning landscapes and some of Spain The combination of abundant sunshine hours, volcanic soils, water from the Teide, Spain’s highest mountain, and cooling trading winds, make this an ideal place to grow almost anything from bananas to potatoes. At their best, both make excellent wines in Tenerife’s rich range of terroirs, spread across five denominaciones de origen (Tacoronte-Acentejo and Valle de la Orotava on the wetter, cooler north coast, Abona and Valle de Güímar on the much drier, tourist-magnetic south side and Ycoden-Daute-Isora, which spans the two). The downsides are the low yields, the demands of growing vineyards in some of the steeper sites and the fact that there is no generic Tenerife appellation – wines have to be sold as one of the five DOs or under a catch-all Islas Canarias label, which can include grapes from any of the seven major islands.

When is a rosé not a rosé?

It was once the most famous rosé in France but as tastes for rosé get ever paler, Tavel has found itself left out in the cold. as long as it’s dark Situated on the opposite bank of the Rhône river to Châteauneuf, Tavel flourished for decades making a complex and ageworthy wine, peerlessly deep for a rosé in both colour and flavour, with great application at the dinner table. In the words of Elizabeth Gabay MW, the worldwide authority on rosé, “like many historic rosé wine producing regions, they are experiencing a rosé identity crisis. Châteauneuf was granted the appellation for red and white wine; Tavel was given the appellation for rosé.

A review of The Battle for Wine and Love, or How I Saved the World from Parkerization

Again and again, I found myself mentally applauding Feiring’s comments on what she calls “spoofulated” wines: “boring fruit, fruit, fruit and oak, oak, oak”. It’s as if I took an aged porterhouse steak from Peter Lugar’s famed restaurant, put it in a Cuisinart, and aged it in new oak. As a writer, I focus on the way wine is made and why the wines I like the taste the way they do. Parker reviews wines as alcoholic liquids, whereas Feiring (and most wine writers I respect) wants to understand the “stories behind the wines, because they make them taste so much better.

In praise of Retsina

I often wonder why I don’t see Greek wine writers telling this story more, defend Attica’s preeminentvin de soif. The past decade, a new generation of winemakers has practically reinvented resinated wine, reflecting both the innovative spirit and the confidence of the new Greek wine scene. As for Afros, it is Kechris’s pet-nat experiment and the most fun wine I have had in months, supremely gluggable, yet finely balanced. Mylonas wines are imported in the UK by Maltby and Greek Tetramythos wines are imported in the UK by Eclectic Wines Gaia Wines are imported in the UK by Hallgarten and Novum Wines Kechris and Gikas wines are currently not imported in the UK.

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