… I had no idea but as always, i’m last to the table when it comes to stuff that everyone else knows about the supermarket phenomenon that is Aldi. They have a beautiful collection of very delicious and very good wines. Labelled under the name The Exquisite Collection these wines have been developed through Aldi’s special relationships with wine’s most noted producers, the collection comprises bottles of exceptional quality for every occasion and allows wine lovers and connoisseurs alike to discover the finest wine from diverse regions around the world. I always think it’s great to know that your local supermarket has thought about the changing tastes in wine and offers such a premium collection… and in a world where looks are as important (if not more so) than actual substance, the bottles of wine look incredibly stylish as a range and will not embarrass you when they’re displayed on your shelf…
…I didn’t manage to get back to the cottage last weekend and The Viking left me home alone with 6 bottles of wine so I cooked up a storm in the kitchen of our London flat and invited neighbours Jenny and George over to help me taste the wine. As you can imagine, we had an absolute blast. It was windy outside but the sun was gloriously shining into the dining room and it felt like a Spring day as we settled in to the lovely grub. We decided to try the whites first, prior to eating and then the reds once our bellies were a little fuller. It was such a nice way to try wine. None of us would consider ourselves connoisseurs… the reviews below are simply honest reviews…but we all drink wine regularly and we know what we like… there were some surprising misses and some even more interesting hits…
I was sent the Aldi Exquisite Mixed Case which is brilliant selection of the wines from the collection and a great place to start. The mixed case retails at an unbelievable £38.24 which averages out at £6.37 a bottle.
shall we start with the reds…
This was by far our favourite red. It’s quite full bodied and is a lovely bright and intense ruby-red with aromas of fresh fruits – a result of the high altitude vineyard plots apparently. It feels quite autumnal to me, not that this is a bad thing but i’m thinking warm fire-side drinking with a bowl of meaty stew.
New Zealand Hawke’s Bay ‘Bordeaux Blend’
This was a very decent glass of red but nothing exceptional. Like the Malbec it was quite fruity with cherry tones and had a really caramel aroma. Again, I would pair this with beef or lamb or a wonderfully rich curry.
French Ribera Del Duero
This was the least of our favourite reds. It was way too sharp for us and had a very ‘tannin’ taste It may be because it’s so rich and has a more oaky flavour which I don’t like but other than the beautiful label it didn’t really leave us with much. The wine uses Tempranillo grapes for what is quite an intense wine. It has overtones of black cherries and an almost chocolatey quality to it. Again, perfect with a rich beef stew or slow roast lamb shoulder.
and now onto the whites…
Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
Now I adore a Sauvignon Blanc, it’s always my wine of choice so I was hugely disappointed with how much I didn’t love this. It had a wonderful mixed aroma of peaches and nectarines with notes of blackcurrant and lime too but the taste itself was not so intriguing. To me it tasted a little too bitter and too fresh. A real shame.
This Gavi reminded me of the summer… or to be more precise gave me a longing for the summer. It had a fresh, tangy and fruity aroma with a lemon undertone that I liked. It was very very drinkable and was a lot lighter than any of the whites in the box. Jenny actually didn’t like it and felt it was so light it had an almost watery quality but I liked this aspect to it. It made it more refreshing. Divine served chilled with cold salmon and lashings of lemony mayonnaise!
Limestone Coast Chardonay
Surprisingly for all of us at the table this peachy chardonnay was a favourite. I’ve never been a fan of the intense smokey flavour of chardonnay but it seems the wine-world has caught up to more contemporary tastes and removed that smokey oaked flavour and what’s left is a delicious glass. This is unoaked, dry and full. There’s a sweetness that comes through that is has a mouth-wateringly fresh pineapple taste… It’s still rich but is refreshing and was perfect with our rich chicken dish.
I hope this little review has been helpful and allows you an insight into what’s on offer within this lovely range of wines.
drink and of course enjoy responsibly!