27 Nov, 2021 @ 10:00
2 mins read

Meet the two Brits on a mission to help expats explore beyond the supermarket shelf and seek out Spain’s great wines

Matthew desoutter and Ben Giddings Simply Spanish wines photo by Abel Valdenebro
Matthew desoutter and Ben Giddings Simply Spanish wines photo by Abel Valdenebro

SPAIN produces exceptionally good quality wine at more than affordable prices but with around 150 native grape varieties and terms like denominación de origen or carbonic maceration, it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to choosing a wine.

Which is where Matthew Desoutter and Ben Giddings come in.

M B Barrel
Matthew Desoutter and Ben Giddings, the pair behind Simply Spanish wines Photo by Abel Valdenebro.

The pair, who became friends while both working at the British Embassy in Madrid, saw an opportunity to share their knowledge of Spanish wine and encourage expats across Spain to explore beyond the supermarket shelf.

Last month they launched a new online wine store designed to provide wine lovers in Spain with access to affordable, high-quality Spanish wines.

Simply Spanish Wine offers a carefully curated list of wines for sale representing different styles, varieties and regions from across Spain.

But it is more than just a place to buy wine online, the site is designed as a resource with articles, interviews and videos to cut through the clutter and provide a basic understanding of Spanish wine so people can make more informed choices about which wines to buy and enjoy.

 “When you go into a supermarket, you’re faced with lots of bottles of wine, but very little to help you choose,” explains Desoutter who has lived in Spain for more than two decades.

“You can look at the label, but unless you know what to expect from a certain grape, or how one area of the country differs from another, you can’t really make an informed choice.”

“We wanted to make it easier to choose a great bottle of wine. Instead of having a huge selection of mass-produced wines, we offer a focused range of craft wines from family-run vineyards. And our store is built around easy-to-understand resources that help our customers choose a wine that they are going to get the most out of,” he said.

His business associate, Ben Giddings, adds: “We give people an overview of different grapes, we talk them through the characteristics of wine regions, and we explain a bit about winemaking techniques like barrel ageing.”

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Simply Spanish Wines explores beyond the supermarket shelf. Photo:Abel Valdenebro

“But we try not to go over the top. We don’t want people to feel overwhelmed or talked-down-to. We want to keep it simple – hence the name,” he said.

“And the great thing is, it not only helps people get a better understanding of the wine they’re buying, but we think it also helps people feel more at home here. Five million foreign nationals are currently resident in Spain. By explaining a bit more about Spain’s finest product, we hope we’re helping them to integrate into the culture and feel like they have more of a foothold in this amazing country.”

To find out more about the resources on offer and sample some of Simply Spanish Wine’s fantastic wines, you can visit the website at www.simplyspanishwine.com or follow the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/simplyspanishwine.

SPECIAL OFFER: Subscribers of The Olive Press can get a special discount on their first order of wine by emailing newsdesk@theolivepress.es and we’ll give you a discount code or look out for the code included in the weekend newsletter.


Fiona Govan

Fiona Govan joined The Olive Press in March 2021. She moved to Spain in 2006 to be The Daily Telegraph’s Madrid correspondent and then worked for six years as Editor of The Local Spain. She lives in Madrid’s Malasaña district with her dog Rufus.

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