Lustau sweet sherries from Marks & Spencer
I feel conflicted about this in many ways; sherry is one of the world's great wines, yet for all the talk of a revival, it is still ridiculously undervalued. The darker and sweeter the style, the more undervalued it seems to be.
These Lustau sweet sherries are selling at what must be below-cost prices, which is a shame not just for the producers now but also for the future of sherry generally; that said, they represent a great short-term bargain for the consumer, so it would be churlish not to buy them. I bought a rucksack full of bottles and then went back for more.
At their full prices, these sherries are good value; at these levels, they are basically being given away.
Yes, I know sweet dark sherries are for vicars and maiden aunts. but really, these are absolutely lovely wines; sweet and expressive with an aged complexity.
M&S Rare Cream Sherry (£5 for 75cl, reduced) fragrant blend of oloroso and PX with mixed fruit, roasted nuts and spices, caramel and toffee with complex savouriness and delicious sweetness cut through with a linear freshness; very harmonious.
Match with sticky toffee pudding, chocolate truffles, blue cheese or just sip slightly chilled at the end of a meal.
Recommended by Tom Cannavan here.
M&S Rare Pedro Ximenez (£4 for 37.5 cl, reduced) made from sun-dried grapes, intensely sweet and stickily viscous-unctuous; raisiny, figgy, candied-peel, Christmas-pudding roasted sweet spices and long, complex, saline savouriness with just enough freshness to keep it all in check.
Sip as a pudding-in-a-glass; match with clotted cream ice cream or Christmas pudding (depending on the season).
Recommended by Olly Smith here.