Four Aldi wine reviews, because Mike at work likes his wine

There’s a lovely chap I see by the photocopier at work and I’ll call him Mike because that’s his name.

Mike has been extolling the virtues of a merlot he loves. It’s called Grapevine Merlot, and he buys it from Aldi. So I bobbed up to Aldi to pick up his recommendation and bought more wine while I was there. It would have been rude not to.

Here’s Mike’s fave, along with another red for under a fiver and two Aldi wine whites for under £8.

Grapevine Merlot, (£3.09, in store only). This wine won’t knock you over in a wobbling heap of praise, but for a purse-friendly slurp then why not consider it. Aldi has sourced this wine from Spain and I bet it would be brilliant in a quick-and-easy summertime sangria. Or just allow  the flavours of black cherries and plums to comfort you when you need  … errrrrm … well, when you need a glass of red.

Estevez Chilean Pinot Noir (£4.79, £28.74 for six at www.aldi.co.uk). I popped this in the fridge for a couple of hours. Pinot noir is lovely with a bit of a chill and Estevez had a chilled-out 2015, scooping three awards, including silver at the International Wine and Spirits Challenge. It is a flimsy, see-through negligee red, with a whimsy of peppery strawberries on the nose and spiky spicy red fruits to taste.

Exquisite Collection Sauvignon Blanc Private Bin (£7.99, £47.94 for six online). Wow said a pal as she dipped her nose in this. That’s nice! (she said). Pauline’s not a huge wine lover but this gold award-winning New Zealand white turned her head, and rightly so. Lime takes centre stage, light, tight, splendidly bright lime, alongside cushion softness and roundness from stone fruit.

Freeman’s Bay New Zealand Pinot Gris (£5.69, £34.14 for a case of six). Say hello to another white from New Zealand. Wine makers have taken the pinot gris grape and created a wine which is soft but plump, with aromas which say honeysuckle and spring flowers, and flavours which say melon, mango and pear.

There you go. Mike drove me to drink.

 

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Six Italian wines from the Co-op (and one Trophy winner!)

THE Co-op white wine Truly Irresistible Fiano 2014 has picked up the Great Value White under £7 trophy from the International Wine Challenge.  I spent an afternoon with the man who brought the wine to the shelves,  the Co-op’s Italian wines buyer,  Ben Cahill.

First, I asked Ben what he would say to people who don’t buy Italian wines.

He said: “Italy is not renowned for its wines – people think cheap gluggable whites or chianti – but the quality has improved immeasurably. There’s been a renaissance; over the last 30 years Italy has enjoyed an absolute revolution.”

He said: “Now’s the time to try Italian wines if you haven’t already. If I had less than a tenner to spend on a bottle and I wanted something exciting then Italy is the first country I’d make a beeline for.

“The majority of reds  are  food friendly and the quality of whites has gone through the roof.”

Ben Cahill Co-op wine buyer
Ben Cahill

Italian wines: Here’s three whites and three reds from the Co-op’s range

The Co-operative Orvieto Classico (£5.49) This is definitely an alternative to pinot grigio as it’s just a bit more interesting (well, most things are). It is crisp, clean, revitalising, with more body, and  more rounded than pinot grigio, slightly  honeyed, almondy with a good balance between acidity and fruit.  If you like a PG and fancy a change, but not too much of a change, go for it.

Gavi La Luciani (£7.49)  This is very pretty and feminine, with a contrast between floral notes and stony minerality. A touch of lime lingers at the back of the mouth after you swallow, giving both an extra bite and a mouth-watering moreishness. It’s a wine to have in the fridge ready to chink chink on a sunny day.

The Co-operative Truly Irresistible Fiano (£6.99) Golden in colour, quite rich, with aromas which hopscotch between citrus, herbs, and flowers. I’d recently cooked a risotto with this (I drank some too!) and it was interesting to see how the same vintage – 2014 – had developed. It has more weight than the gavi and the orvieto, and felt  comfortable in its soul.

The Co-operative Truly Irresistible Barbera d’Asti (£6.99)  This has a fair amount of tannin and structure but wasn’t mouth drying. It had a slight smokiness, with aromas of cherries, bramble fruit, wild blackberries, dried leaves and a hint of savoury. So much going on!  

Bibbiano Chianti Classico (£9.99) Ben has brought this wine exclusively to the Co-op. Bibbiano supplies top-notch restaurants and he explored further and developed a partnership which has seen a slight tweak on the blend, but with the same winemaking expertise behind it.  It is a great  example of its type for less than £10. It would be fantastic with tomato-lashed spaghetti.

Villa Annaberta Amarone della Valpolicella (£17.99) I love the story of amarone wine. Time and skill is invested in making it, hence the price tag, but it’s worth it. Grapes are dried on racks before being fermented and the result is a wine that is very rich, almost a port, with  a slightly unctuous weight in the mouth. Enjoy with cheese instead of port – or simply sit in a comfy chair in front of a fire and wallow in selfish tranquility.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

First published in the saturday extra magazine February 2016

Liverpool Echo – South Wales Echo – Daily Post Wales – Huddersfield Examiner – The Chronicle, Newcastle – Teesside Evening Gazette – Birmingham  Mail – Coventry Telegraph – Paisley Daily Express

You might also likeclose
Optimization WordPress Plugins & Solutions by W3 EDGE
%d bloggers like this: