Italy, Piedmont

Marks & Spencer Barbera d’Asti

Warning: the label says Barbera d’Asti but there is nothing much Barbera nor Asti about this wine from Marks & Spencer. The natural acidity of the Barbera grape jars with the American oak (yes, I said American oak) which gives the wine as much pleasure as chewing on tin foil while watching good food being thrown away.

As one bright spark said, perhaps the American oak is aimed at Bourbon drinkers in the U.S. – it certainly has the palate-stripping quality of a double bourbon cocktail. Marks and Spencer buyers’ brief must have been ‘zero defect’ rather than ‘varietal taste’. Please, if you want to know more about Italian wine, this is not a good introduction to Barbera from Asti. Made for Marks and Spencer, this is made by the large, industrial outfit called Industrial wines from Piedmont: no, I didn’t know, either. On discount at £5.49.

2008 Barbera d’Asti DOCG Marks & Spencer


  1. Shame. Marks normally do okay wines too, in my experience.

    So many bloggers, myself included, say “Oh yeah, this and that wine is great” about so many wines that it all becomes a bit meaningless.

    It’s more interesting when a wine is slated and I will definitely try that Barbera (my local M&S in Cork, Ireland, sells it) after reading this post. See what all the fuss is about!

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