Thank God for little mercies. Amid a universal climate of gloom and uncertainty, Marks & Spencer is inviting us to smell the rosé it launched last month. Then it won’t be just the rosé you’ll fall in love with but also 17 wines other in its new Classics Collection. At the risk of sounding like an alcoholic, I’m going to admit I cannot wait to discover every single one of them after trying just four.
The 18 wines made the list after a process of rigorous sourcing and tasting by Marks & Spencer’s own award-winning winemakers Belinda Kleinig and Sue Daniels, who have over 40 years of wine experience between them. The specially curated collection includes well-known wines that M&S customers already know and love – from a fresh and fruity Côtes de Provence rosé, to a light, crisp Pinot Grigio from northern Italy, and a bold and juicy Rioja from Spain.
I had a chance to try the Mineralstein Riesling (No.2), Bourgogne Pinot Noir (No.36), Cotes du Rhone Villages (No.20) and Vouvray Demi Sec (No.33). These were all delightful on the palate and really easy to enjoy. I particularly liked No.2. Made by German winemaker Gerd Stepp, it is refreshing and offers delicate citrus and peach flavours.
What I also like how M&S has thoughtfully included helpful tasting notes on the label, as well as food pairing suggestions. It means no one will feel inadequate when it comes to picking out a wine to enjoy with friends or family any more. Still, if you’re unsure, here are some useful wine tips from Sue Daniels.
wine Enjoyment made easy
“Start with an off-dry (sweeter) white, rosé or sparkling wine, and then gradually move on to drier whites and bold reds with more tannins,” began Daniels. “It’s also much easier to pair wines with foods that are salty, acidic or creamy. Salty food brings out the fruit flavours in wine and decreases the bitterness, while acidic or creamy foods balance out high-acidity wines. This is why oak-aged Chardonnay goes so well with vinaigrette salads and creamy fish dishes,” she explained.
“You’ll also want to go for a wine from the same region as the food you’re eating. There’s a reason French cheeses go so well with French wines,” she added, before urging us to “try new styles of wine every so often to broaden the palate. If you experiment occasionally, you may just find a new style that becomes a firm favourite”.
Another 16 wines from New World regions will be added to the collection later in the year. Priced between $34.90 and $79.90, the wines offer great value, allowing anyone to discover new favourites and broaden their wine knowledge.
The Classics Collection is available at Marks & Spencer food outlets, and for home delivery via Deliveroo and Food Panda.