M&S ran the booze-free version of its much-copied Dine In offer in a handful of stores over the New Year, offering gourmet ready meals, a side dish and dessert rather than the usual standard ready meal for two, side, dessert and bottle of wine.
But the feedback on consumer forum Money Saving Expert was overwhelmingly negative from shoppers, who feared the popular promotion was set to change for good.
"I saw the poster in-store and thought I'd misread it when I couldn't see the wine listed!," said one poster. "Such a shame, I regularly bought the Dine In meal but it doesn't seem like such a good deal now."
Another shopper wrote: "Haha, this won't wash with me. No wine, no deal. Think again, M&S!"
A third added: "I definitely won't be buying again! Without the wine there is no way I'd bother!"
M&S said the offer had been rejigged as a "test" but there were no plans to change Dine In in future.
"We were keen to see if Dine In could work during the festive holiday peak and if the meal offered at this time should be more special," said food business development head Jill Bruce. "To test this out, a small number of stores ran some different menus."
They had trialled more premium food options without wine as M&S had receieved feedback from some customers that they would prefer to choose their own wine, she said.
However, she insisted: "We have no plans to change what is a very successful promotion and will have another Dine In event in-store from 13 January with the usual combination of main, side, dessert and wine or a soft drink."
Dine In debuted in 2008 and was key to turning around the retailer's food sales, which had fallen into negative territory. The deal has since been copied by rivals including Waitrose and Sainsbury's.