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2 whites and a red for an impressive £16.50

Actually, it's £16.57 but we are unlikely to squabble over 7p. ...... or fall out, I suspect, about the quality on offer here – with a £9.99 red to satisfy those seeking something a little further up the ladder.

Let’s take a week off from promotions and limited time offers to look, first, at good (and longer term) value wines from Aldi and, then, switch to an even more radical departure at the end of the week.

Click on any of the bottles shown for an enlarged image to help you pinpoint the wine on a crowded shelf.

Hooray for perfect summer garden whites

Aldi Cotes de GascogneAssuming we get one, summer means gathering friends for a convivial time outdoors with (I suggest) fresh, tasty, inexpensive white wine with limited alcohol ….. Funny you should say that ……

South West France can meet that need brilliantly with, for example, the crisp, lively and light 2015 Venturer Series Cotes de Gasgogne (£4.79 – 11.5% abv) and the pink grapefruit acidity, gentle peach, pear and red apple touches it brings to the party along with a long opal fruit finish.

Limelight for an unheralded grape

Aldi CLAIRETTEClairette is usually an “also ran” grape variety even in its native Southern France – quick to oxidise and often with insufficient acidity – but skilled modern winemakers like Languedoc’s Jean Claude Mas can overcome those challenges.

He certainly does so in the soft and aromatic 2015 Exquisite Collection Clairette (£5.99 – 12.5% abv) with its apple and tropical fruit flavours, hint of sweetness, creamola foam texture, pithy acidity and concluding savoury edge.

Head south for great value red

Aldi Exquisite Collection SHIRAZFor reds at this price point, I shall switch hemispheres for what the Land of Oz does well –shiraz; albeit using the “catch-all” South Eastern Australia appellation (ie all wine producing areas except Western Australia).

Enjoy nevertheless the ripe and fruity 2014 Exquisite Collection Australian Shiraz (£5.79 – 14.5% abv) with its blackberry and bramble fruit, firm acidity, minimal tannin and clove, mint and savoury backdrop.

Then step up the price points a bit

Aldi LOT 14 Minervois La LiviniereAldi’s Lot Series is designed to illustrate that the retailer’s wines are not just about low prices and entry point styles – and this small parcel of Languedoc red also shows off that whole area’s brilliance in blending ( syrah, grenache and carignan in this case).

So, no surprise to find rich, herbal, blackberry and plum jam flavours in the long and mellow 2014 Lot 14 Minervois la Liviniere (£9.99 – 13.5% abv) with liquorice, aniseed, cinnamon and black pepper in the background.

With modest tannin but discernible acidity this, to me, is the pick of the two current Lot Series reds.

Coming Soon

 As promised, though, Friday’s post takes a different approach.

Reversing the usual focus (different wines from one retailer), I am comparing versions of the same (currently very trendy) grape variety from six different retailers to find the pick of the High Street.


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