Review: M&S This Is £5 wine range - WineUncorked: Wine Reviews and Tips

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'. But by using such jargon as 'round' and 'tropical' on the main part of the front label, M&S are excluding those wine drinkers totally new to wine and many other wine consumers who just haven't got round to understanding what all those wine words really mean.

But it's hard to describe a wine without using some sort of reference to familiar flavours (see What's the point of wine jargon?) - without the 'soft bramble' (Merlot), 'juicy red berries' (Spanish red) and 'exotic fruits' (Chardonnay) the wine label description would have to contain even looser phraseology such as 'Really tasty red' or 'Drink this cold white' (which is the complete opposite of the beer industry where you'll find such inscrutable names as Tart Side of the Moon and Dan's Pink Shirt).

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?


For reviews of the range either go to the Wine reviews section or go straight to the individual reviews by clicking on the links below: 


M&S This Is Soft and Tropical Chardonnay 2019

M&S This Is Fruity and Intense Italian Red 2019

M&S This Is Soft and Fruity Rose 2019

M&S This Is Round and Plummy Merlot 2019

M&S This Is Rich and Smooth Spanish Red 2019


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