Marks and Spencer has announced the launch of Pink Port: ‘a brand new Port style… targeting the younger, female port drinker.’
The new style is ‘bright pink in colour with fresh fruit aromas.’ The port has the same sugar levels as ruby ports, while acidity levels are ‘finely tuned to ensure the right balance.’
M&S says the new style, priced at £7.99, is set to ‘transform the port category’. The last time a new port style was launched, it notes, was Late Bottled Vintage in 1970.
Five members of a Decanter panel tasting, including two Masters of Wine, tasted the wine blind last week. Their comments ranged from ‘is it a Canadian ice wine?’ to ‘is it from the UK?’ to ‘what is it?’
The general view was that it was very confected, with burning alcohol. When they realised it was a fortified wine (the nose is akin to a fruity rosé), the question became ‘when would you drink this?’.
One said, ‘It’s too confected for an aperitif, which is how M&S are marketing it, but you can’t imagine bringing it out with the Stilton either.’
Decanter editor Guy Woodward said: ‘While I applaud M&S’s effort to take port out to a wider audience, I’m not convinced this is the way to do it. This doesn’t taste like any port I know – it’s more like vodka and cranberry juice.
‘I suspect they’re trying to jump on the rosé bandwagon. The nose smells like a rosé but then you get this whack of confected fruits and alcohol on the palate.
‘M&S has built a reputation for high quality, exclusive wines, but I’m afraid this isn’t one of them. It tastes rather cheap, and is worryingly close to the alcopop market.’
Written by Adam Lechmere