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Emma Dawson MW launches 52 Grapes project

M&S wine buyer Emma Dawson MW has launched an online project called 52 Grapes that aims to teach consumers about grape varieties in a light-hearted way.

Launched in collaboration with her boyfriend Andy, was inspired by Andy’s desire to learn about wine one grape at a time before he embarks on the WSET level 2 exam.

Emma Dawson MW and her boyfriend Andy

Launching in January, each week the pair explore a different grape variety, from Arneis to Zinfandel, and encourage their readers to buy a wine made from said grape and share their views on it.

Given their different levels of wine knowledge, Emma provides the facts, history and textured tasting notes while Andy offers a humorous novice’s perspective. Dawson describes the website as “a free and democratic opportunity for people to learn about wine”.

This isn’t the couple’s first foray into weekly drinking challenges. In 2016 Andy set himself the goal of trying a different beer every week, while last year the pair delved into the world of cocktails, trying a different mixed drink each week.

Those keen to get involved in 52 Grapes can consult the grape schedule on the website and buy a wine made from that week’s chosen variety.

Each week Dawson writes a review alongside a few facts about the gape, and Andy offers his own pearls of wisdom on what he thinks the wine tastes like.

Among the varieties covered so far are Tempranillo, Corvina, Picpoul and Pinot Gris, while soon to be explored are Chenin Blanc, Touriga Nacional and Fiano.

Dawson has a broad buying remit at M&S, buying wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Italy, South American and the Eastern Med for the retailer.

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