Marks and Spencer Moscatel Grenache 2011

I tasted none of the subtleties of a good Grenache in here...
Posted 27th February 2013        

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Almost exactly one year ago I drank this wine in its white form.

I mean, obviously they are two completely different wines, given that this has Grenache as well as Moscatel (AKA Muscat) in it; but the way they are presented – in the same packaging, bottle-type, label, etc. – essentially positions this as the pink version of that sweet white wine I enjoyed so much in 2012.

Which is a shame, because where I found that white to be refreshing, balanced and rather delicious overall, I found this pink version to be cloying and unsubtle: a big pink sweet punch in my unsuspecting face. It’s *so* sweet that it almost seems like it ought to be diluted with something. Probably water, rather than something that might muddy – or further sweeten – the waters.

Indeed, perhaps with a dash of water – sparkling water – this might make an alright summer spritzer. That is how people make spritzers, right? But on its own it’s akin to drinking straight Ribena, but without that blue, cooling blackcurrant edge. It’s syrupy and non-specifically fruity and genuinely difficult to drink.

I tasted none of the subtleties of a good Grenache in there; neither the red nor the (dry) rosé incarnation: the residual (or added?) sugar was all that romped home to take the glory of first, second, and third place in the race to my taste buds.  And if that sentence was rendered unreadable to you by an overwrought metaphor then imagine how I felt writing it.

I bought this sweet rosé for Valentine’s Day, because it’s pink and I lack imagination. But this wine said nothing to me about the love I was intending to celebrate. This – perhaps with some dramatic irony or poetic justice – is to wine what pre-written Hallmark cards are to love. It conjures bad rhyming couplets devoid of depth, catering for a mass and never, never, never appropriate to truly recognize the unique and treasured relationship between two unique and treasured individuals.

You can buy this wine from Marks and Spencer for about eight pounds, and I strongly recommend you don’t.

If you’re looking for a nice, not-too-thick dessert wine, buy right; buy white.


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Meet the Author:
Alexander Velky
Alexander grew up on Anglesey, almost as far away from civilization as he’d have liked. He studied English at university and subsequently moved to Prague to teach it to Czech people for just long enough that he could say he’d done that. He then returned to the UK to do an MA in Professional Writing, and later moved to London by accident and worked in the music industry for a while. His interest in wine has been developing throughout. He took the WSET Intermediate exam, for which he was rewarded with a certificate and a pin badge, but he probably won't bother doing any more. He now lives in Pembrokeshire with his wife and daughter. He writes, and drinks, for a living. You can follow him on Twitter if that's how you choose to spend your time. Photograph by Léonie Keeble