Marks & Spencer wines have had a shake up since the UK supermarket released its last seasonal range in autumn 2020.
Not least of which is a new head of beers, wines and spirits – Andrew Shaw – who has previously been head of buying at Waitrose and Bibendum. He has now been joined by Carmel Kilcline MW, also previously at Bibendum as well as Sainsbury’s, who will lead the technical team.
The current autumn/winter range features 14 new wines, including two excellent Pinot Noirs – one from Chile and the other from Burgundy – as well as a delicious Rich Cream Sherry to challenge your preconceptions about the style (see recommendations below).
Still widely available in store and online is the Found range, launched on 5 April. It features 12 ‘hidden gems’ of the wine world, all under £10, that M&S buyers Sue Daniels and Belinda Kleinig have uncovered.
In summer 2020, Marks & Spencer released a 34-strong Classics range, bottles priced from £7 to £12.
It focused on the best-loved wine styles, sourced at highest quality at an accessible price. Many are the same wines M&S customers have long loved, just repackaged, while some are different wines from the same producers, and others are from completely new suppliers.
It includes great buys such as the no21 Rioja Reserva, now released as a magnum – perfect for festive celebrations at just £17 (see recommendations below).
With M&S having a 50% share in the retail side of online grocer Ocado, this is slowly improving what has previously been lacking from its offer – a good online wine range, which currently only provides customers with about a quarter of the 400 wines available in store.
Some 90% of own-label wines are also vegan, in line with the supermarket’s pledge to offer 100% vegan wines by 2022. And 65% of M&S’s suppliers have or are working towards sustainability certification.
The first 23 wines below are from tastings in October 2021. The following wines are from tastings held between March and May 2021, as well as the autumn/winter press tasting in September 2020. All wines are available from either M&S (in store and on online) or Ocado (online only).