Paula’s Wines of the Week – 10 August 2020

Paula’s Wines of the Week – 10 August 2020

Review: M&S £5 This Is range

Fifteen wines, all with “bright, helpful labels”, have been added to Marks and Spencer’s range of wines. Priced at £5, the “This Is” range have been designed for drinkers new to wine and are there “to help customers begin their wine journey” – on to the more expensive wines presumably.

When the label tells you it’s “Round and Plummy” (Chilean Merlot) or “Soft and Tropical” (Argentinean Chardonnay) the ideal reaction would be to nod and think “yes, I know what that will taste like”… and then buy it of course.

But this “at-a-glance” label guidance hasn’t come out of no-where. Marks and Spencer’s rival, Waitrose, have a similar set of wines (priced at £4.99) and a similar set of customers. So if an “Aromatic and Citrus” Spanish white and a “Vibrant and Grassy” Chilean white is okay for Waitrose wine buyers then those customers who stroll across the road to Marks and Spencer will know what to expect.

But what do the “This Is” range of wines taste like? They do match their label descriptions, mostly. The flavours are definitely fruity but not intense and lingering, more light and simple with one or two flavours predominating. Which is definitely one way to start your wine journey. But if these are the flavours you come to associate with a bottle of wine then why would you look for any others?

Direct signposting to the next level of flavour is what is required – the “This Is Next” wine range perhaps?

Paula’s Wine Reviews from

M&S This Is Soft and Tropical Chardonnay 2019
£5 M&S
4 star rating
Don’t expect the flavours to be the nunaced over-£10 a bottle type. But they are enjoyable with melon and pear creaminess but there is a pronounced almond harshness that comes through. So drink this wine extra cold to minimise this down side.

M&S This Is Fruity and Intense Italian Red 2019
£5 M&S
4 star rating
Fruity but not intense with the flavours of light red fruits of strawberry and cranberry. There is a black pepper twist and some slightly meaty nuances but it is easy drinking stuff.

M&S This Is Soft and Fruity Rose 2019
£5 M&S
3 star rating
Yes it is soft and fruity with flavours of light strawberry and apple.

M&S This Is Round and Plummy Merlot 2019
£5 M&S
3 star rating
Smooth and creamy with flavours of plum, cherry and almond with some milky coffee.

M&S This Is Rich and Smooth Spanish Red 2019
£5 M&S
2 star rating
Rather poor flavours of burnt blackberry and sloes with a tinge of sweetness.

The wine rating system uses a maximum of 5 stars:

5 star rating (outstanding – the top rating given by
4 star rating (very good wine)
3 star rating (good wine but over priced)
2 star rating (a disappointing wine)
1 star rating (little to offer)

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© Paula Goddard 2020