Marks & Spencer have always had a good selection of wine, branching out and offering a more varied range than most other supermarkets. And with Christmas around the corner, (I know, I said the ‘C’ word) their offering has just got a little bit better. Whether you want white, red, sweet or sparkles they pretty much have it covered, and here is a selection of wines that have impressed me from their new offering:
Cava Prestige Rosado NV, Spain – €16.30
It’s red, it’s got bubbles and it tastes delicious. Cava is the Spanish equivalent to Champagne and is actually made in the same way, mostly in an area near Barcelona. The grape varieties used differ though and this rosado is made from a local variety called Trepat. Flavours and aromas of rose and red fruit such as strawberry, balanced with subtle biscuity notes made this a perfect aperitif or would match perfectly with your smoked salmon breakfast on Christmas day.
Domaine Mandeville Viognier, Languedoc, France, 2015 – €12.00
This wine really impressed me. 100% Viognier and from the Languedoc, where land is cheaper than other areas of France. The money saved on land is going into new and modern wine making equipment. This wine shows it’s varietal flavours beautifully with stone fruits such as peach and nectarine, along with floral notes that make it a delight to drink. At €12 a bottle this is fantastic value for money.
Grillo, Sicily, Italy, 2015 – €11.00
Another wine that is excellent value for money. Grillo is a grape variety well adapted to the hot Sicilian weather. This wine has a light body, but lovely fruit and mineral flavours of citrus, melon and grapefruit. The volcanic soils of Sicily can be tasted in the wine as well and this was surprisingly layered and well structured for a wine at this price point. The flavour is nice and long as well. This wine will suit everyone around the table as it is also vegan.
Sancerre Rouge au Bois de L’Epine, Loire, France, 2015 – €21.00
Sancerre is an appellation at the east end of The Loire region therefore further inland. More famous for it’s Sauvignon Blanc white wines, this is a red from the area made from 100% Pinot Noir. The grapes for this wine have come from 3 separate villages. The wines were fermented separately and then blended to make the final wine. This is a nice, light and easy drinking wine with ripe red fruit and good structure. If you’re looking for a red wine to go with your turkey, this is definitely it.
Puglia Rosso, Puglia, Italy, 2015 – €10.30
Another area that is producing exceptional value at the moment is Puglia, which is on the heel of Italy. This wine is made from 80% Negroamaro and 20% Puglia Rosso. Negroamaro is a variety that is native to the area which laps up the sun and produces lovely, fruit driven and full bodied wines. Plummy fruit and a hint of spice with light tannins, this wine will be a real crowd pleaser. This is also another vegan wine, so everyone can enjoy it!
Rare Pedro Ximenez, Jerez, Spain – €11.80
If you’ve never tried PX you need to jump on this now! A lusciously sweet sherry made from raisined PX grapes this is Christmas in a glass. With aromas and flavours of fig, prune and sweet cooking spices, a glass of this after dinner will be exactly what is in order. Made in a solera system, where the wine is blended each year aging it slowly over time, this will keep for a good while once opened, so you can open it and start to enjoy that Christmas cheer nice and early this year!