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Monday, 20 July 2020

Lustau Sweet Sherries at Marks & Spencer

A brace of reduced-price 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.

Good.

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.

Good.

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.

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