This week, two very well-priced wines from Marks & Spencer which has always tried to offer an interesting selection. The Pecorino grape is to be found in the Abruzzo and Marche regions on the eastern coast of Italy. In the late 20th century it was thought to be extinct, until the last few vines were discovered. Pecore is Italian for sheep, and it is believed that Pecorino got its name because sheep wandering through the vineyard loved to munch the early ripening grapes. The wines can be very good, but usually cost twice as much as the M&S version.
Alicante Bouschet is one of the very few grapes to have coloured pulp. Most red wines derive their colour from the grape skins. Widely grown in the Languedoc region of France, Spain and the Alentejo in Portugal, it isn’t well-known and doesn’t have the greatest reputation, but can produce very good lively, full-bodied red wines.
Pecorino 2021, Terre di Chieti Villa Pani, Italy
Fresh and fruity with lovely floral aromas, zesty lemon and soft nectarines. Perfect with light summer salads – or with Pecorino cheese. €11.80 from Marks & Spencer.
Alicante Bouschet 2021, Alentejo, Portugal
This is a delicious full-bodied red wine with rounded dark cassis and black cherry fruits. Serve it with rich lamb and beef dishes. Great value for money. €11.80 from Marks & Spencer.