§ CONTRIBUTORS We go to great lengths to persuade the world’s finest wine writers to share their knowledge with our readers. We seek to blend unrivaled expertise with less familiar (but no less important) voices, drawing on experience while, at the same time, nourishing and promoting new talent.
Tim Atkin MW is an award-winning wine writer and Master of Wine with 33 years’ experience. He writes for a number of publications, including The World of Fine Wine, Harpers, Gourmet
Traveller Wine, Imbibe, and Decanter and publishes annual reports on his site, timatkin.com, about both Chile and Argentina. He is a co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge and has won more than 30 awards for his journalism and photography.
Michel Bettane is France’s leading wine critic. Born in Maryland, he graduated in classics, which he proceeded to teach from 1975 to 1991. He contributed to La Revue du Vin de France for more than 20 years, most recently as its editor. He also co-writes, with Thierry Desseauve, the acclaimed annual Grand Guide des Vins de France. After wine, his greatest passion is listening to classical music.
Stephen Brook studied at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1982, after many years as a publisher’s editor, he became a freelance writer specializing in travel and wine. He has won numerous awards, including the André Simon, Glenfiddich, Lanson, and Veuve Clicquot. His revised third edition of The Complete Bordeaux was published by Mitchell Beazley in May 2017. Additional interests have enabled him to compile three anthologies: The Oxford Book of Dreams, The Penguin Book of Infidelities, and Opera: A Penguin Anthology. In any spare time, he enjoys travel, architecture, opera, and theatergoing.
Alison Buchanan’s passion for wine was nourished in Burgundy with her father, who would sneak her into tastings when she was slightly below the age limit, insisting that she was soixante ans. After studying a mix of sciences, English, and languages in Glasgow, Alison began her wine-trade career with Victoria Wine before joining Scotland’s oldest wine merchants, Whighams of Ayr, in 1989. When Corney & Barrow bought Whighams in 1994, Alison continued in Ayr until moving to London as associate director of buying in 1998. Writing the annual C&B wine list keeps her busy, but she also enjoys cooking, walking, and the theater.
Kathleen Burk, the daughter of a grape farmer, was born in California and educated at Berkeley and Oxford. She is currently the professor of modern and contemporary history at University College
London and has published 11 books. Her main field of research is Anglo-American relations; her latest book in this field, Old World, New World: The Story of Britain and America, was published in 2007. Number 11, written with Michael Bywater, was Is This Bottle Corked? The Secret Life of Wine, which was shortlisted for the 2009 Roederer Award for International Wine Book of the Year. Her choice of wines would include old clarets; old Rieslings from the Mosel; the great wines from the Rhône, Languedoc-Roussillon, and Provence; the more elegant wines from California; and Port, all of which she enjoys sharing with her friends, usually over dinner or Sunday lunch. She is keen on lieder, opera, and early music, and she plays a number of instruments to a very mediocre level.
Jim Clarke is an in-demand writer and speaker on all things wine- and beer-related, contributing to magazines such as Sommelier Journal, Beverage Media, Details, and Wine Enthusiast, as well as newspapers like The New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle. Jim has also been part of the New York restaurant scene for over ten years, working as the wine director at high-end Japanese restaurant Megu, before moving on to spend two years rebuilding the wine program at Armani Ristorante inside the clothing company’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue. In September 2013, he left the restaurant industry to become the marketing manager for Wines of South Africa. When he’s not working with wine, he’s usually busy trying to keep his 1978 Triumph Spitfire on the road.
Harry Eyres has become one of the most eloquent advocates of the worldwide Slow movement. Having worked for leading newspapers and magazines as a theater critic, wine writer, and poetry editor, in 2004 he created the Slow Lane column in FT Weekend. Promoting the thoughtful enjoyment of the often uncostly and uncostable pleasures and values that make life worth living, Slow Lane ran until 2015. He has published a volume of poetry, Hotel Eliseo, and gives regular poetry readings. Eyres is also the author of The Beginner’s Guide to Plato’s The Republic, the memoir Horace and Me: Life Lessons from an Ancient Poet (shortlisted for the PEN/Ackerley Prize in 2014), and Seeing Our Planet Whole: A Cultural and Ethical View of Earth Observation (Springer). His wine books include Wine Dynasties of Europe and the Viking/Penguin Guide to Cabernet Sauvignon. He edited the Which? Wine Guide 1995–6. He lives in London and enjoys playing tennis and the piano.
Simon Field MW studied French literature at Oxford and then, for whatever reason, doggedly pursued the qualification of a chartered accountant. The silver linings of French postings were mainly vinous and prompted the somewhat unexpected career move to shop assistant in his local Oddbins in Belsize Park. Over two decades buying for Berry Bros & Rudd ensued, where he specialized in the wines of Spain, Champagne, and the Rhône Valley, inter alia—passions that he now indulges somewhat less formally but, if possible, with even greater pleasure.
Ken Gargett was born and bred in Brisbane, Queensland, and studied law at Queensland University. On a break from fishing on the Great Barrier Reef, someone opened a good bottle of Port, and so commenced a serious obsession. Further studies and work followed in London; Washington, DC; and Sydney—but a return to Queensland led to some occasional wine writing by friends who knew of his obsession. When not writing (mostly on wine), he might be fly-fishing for trout in New Zealand or bonefish on the flats of Cuba, traveling, enjoying a cigar, or following a variety of sporting teams—“the occasionally glorious Queensland Reds, the dysfunctional Washington Redskins, and the surprising Arsenal.”
Tim Hall read government and history, pursued journalism, taught, and after an MA in language and literature, worked in education inspection. Having caught the bug motorcycling in the south of France he changed track to the wine trade and the DipWSET, opening London’s Scala School of Wine in 1995. Scala began corporate wine events and guided trips to Bordeaux and Champagne. As Scalawine, Tim specializes in Champagne,
Michael Edwards joined London wine shippers Laytons in 1968, and living in France in the 1970s, he represented several wine estates in Burgundy and Alsace. In 1984, he became a restaurant critic, rising to be chief inspector of the Egon Ronay guides. Michael is author of the bestselling Champagne Companion, for which he was awarded the Prix Lanson in 1995, and The Finest Wines of Champagne. He contributes to a wide range of publications and, in 2005, was elected Ambassadeur d’Angleterre by the Archiconfrérie St-Vincent des Vignerons de Champagne.
10 | THE WORLD OF FINE WINE | ISSUE 62 | 2018