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Mar 01

Great Spring wines at Aldi

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IMG_2465Over the last two or three years, the wine department at Aldi has become a bit like a wonderful toyshop for wine lovers. There are lots of great things, and they’re all nicely priced and lots of fun. Yesterday I went along to the Spring tasting to see what new goodies were on offer.

The tasting was held in the Skyloft on top of Millbank Tower, just down the road from the Houses of Parliament. Ranged along the walls were a surprisingly diverse selection of high quality wines.

As most wine fans will know, Aldi has an excellent range called ‘The Exquisite Selection’. These are really good wines, most of which cost just over a fiver. And they make genuinely good drinking. If you’re thinking of stocking up for a party or just want to buy a few nice bottles to drink over dinner, Aldi is a good place to come. Moreover Aldi has recently started selling wines online, so they can be delivered to your door.

The Exquisite Collection now boasts a Blanquette de Limoux (£7.99), which is a lightly sparkling wine – very fresh and with great flavours of citrus and pears. This is a real treat and if you’ve got any celebrations coming up, it’s a very good alternative to Champagne. As far as Champagnes go, Aldi has some great bargains. The rose Veuve Monsigny Pink Champagne Brut has lovely flavours of cherry and citrus. At £13.99. it’s worth buying for Mother’s Day. More conventionally, there is also Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut (£10.99). This is a great tasting wine, not too much acidity and a gentle grain of bubbles. If you’re having a wedding or christening, then stock up!

There are a couple of new additions to the Exquisite range. The Rias Baixas Albarino (£5.99) is a superb Spanish white with a distinctive peach flavour. It makes a great change from the usual sauvignon blancs and has a classy bottle, which will impress your friends.

Perhaps most interestingly, Aldi has now started producing what it describes as ‘The Lot series’. These are slightly higher class wines, which cost around a tenner. They have pretty, little labels, which I found a bit hard to read, but they are very decorative. And the wines are only being made in limited numbers. Aldi claim that they are good enough to lay down for a few years – most wines tend to lose their flavour if you leave them in the cellar for more than a year or so.

I really liked the Lot Series Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc(£9.99), which had flavours of nectarine and cashew nut. I tried the Lot Series Minervois La Liviniere (£9.99) which is made with Syrah and Grenache grapes. A nice well balanced with a lot of spice on the palate – and it probably would benefit from two or three years in cellar to soften the tannins.

Find out more about food and wine on Jack Shamash’s blog