For winter 2022, Marks & Spencer has unveiled a new premium wine range, Collection, as well as own-label spirits under the Distilled moniker.
The Collection range initially sees 14 own-label wines made in collaboration with top producers in some of the best wine regions in the world, and finally brings wine into the existing M&S Collection range, which includes top-quality foodstuffs such as Cornish butter, truffle mayonnaise and single-origin coffee.
The Distilled range retails for £18/70cl and encompasses 10 different spirits, including the first M&S Tequila, a Pink Grapefruit Gin, and 5 Times Distilled British Vodka.
These new additions build on the UK retailer’s already popular Found range of ‘discovery’ wines, which Andrew Shaw – head of trading for drinks at Marks & Spencer – says has recorded a 160% year-on-year increase.
Meanwhile, sales of English sparkling wine are reportedly up 20% year-on-year, and French sparkling wine, including Champagne and Crémant, up 12% year-on-year. In total, M&S has increased its market share for beers, wines and spirits to 5.8% (vs 5.6% in 2021)
Standout picks from the own-label range this winter include Marks & Spencer Prosecco NV (which at £18 for a magnum is not only fun for the festive table but also reasonable value), Marks & Spencer Found Weissburgunder 2021 (delightfully fresh and saline German Pinot Blanc), and Marks & Spencer Collection Barossa Valley Shiraz 2021 (a spicy, chocolatey red with minty freshness).
Pick of the brands
From the branded wines in the range, check out the Nyetimber Classic Cuvée NV (a juicy, creamy and leesy traditional-method fizz from Sussex), Stéphane Ogier Les Closiers Blanc 2020 (a delicious white Châteauneuf-du-Pape full of honeyed apple and spice flavours), and Cantina Valpantena Amarone della Valpolicella 2019 (an impressively weighty yet well balanced with sweet red cherry and violet flavours).
Interestingly, Marks & Spencer has opted to phase out promotions (including their popular Dine In wine offer) in favour of what they call ‘everyday low prices’, as well as monthly ‘Wine Shop Specials’. Over 40% of the M&S still wine range is priced at £8 or less, while around the same amount of sparkling wine (excluding Champagne) retails for under £10.
Marks & Spencer wines to try this winter:
The first 34 wines below are from tastings in May 2022. The following wines are from tastings in 2021. All wines are available from one or both of M&S (in store and on online) or Ocado (online only).