Marks and Spencer Moscatel de Valencia 2009

YUM! I normally make a point not to 'review' wines people get me as presents,
Posted 08th January 2011        

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I normally make a point not to ‘review’ wines people get me as presents, but there are times when the opportunity is too great to miss; this being a case in point as M&S’ Moscatel de Valencia ’09 is one of the most delicious wines I’ve tasted in recent months and certainly my unexpected ‘Christmas Wine of the Year ’10‘.

(If I actually gave out awards, that is.)

I had a couple of lovely ports this Christmas (Dow’s Crusted variety being very pleasant indeed) but none of them impressed me as much as this sweet white from ValenciaSpain.

The combination of cool, syrupy sweetness and the strong tang of peach and lychee made this a winning accompaniment to the spicy thai noodle soup I made to mark the end of the holidays. It’s hardly a traditional dish, but then this is hardly a wine I’d traditionally associate with the winter months – so… nyer.

Most sweet wines are all too sweet for my tastes and I often wonder whether a wine you can stand a tea spoon up in can really be called wine at all – many seem more like liqueurs and simply don’t hit the same spot: tiny bottles you open up every 8 years just to check if any new mould cultures or parallel universes have developed in there.

This is completely different: as long as you’ve got a food with enough bite that the lemony sweetness doesn’t overwhelm, you could easily get through a bottle of this Moscatel (a.k.a. muskrat) one sitting.

The label recommends desserts like Bakewell tarts and summer puddings, but I fancy this would go just as well with a steamed pudding from a tin or any number of winter-warmering caked and pies.

For me, it serves as a more than adequate (superior, even) replacement for the Gewurztraminer I’d usually have thought to serve with a spicy, eastern dish.

Brilliant. Seek it out and drink it now.


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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