The January purse strings are still pulled really tight so for my weekend wines I’ll be heading off to Aldi where I know I’ll pick up some good ones at sensible prices.
I’ve had a dummy run with three Aldi whites, touching base once again with Aldi Exquisite Collection wines: Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie (£5.99) Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc (£5.49) and Gavi DOCG (£5.49).
The Exquisite Collection Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie 2013
A wine from France, the Loire region. Sur Lie means that the wine has been kept on its lees for a little while … the lees being the spent yeast after fermentation. It adds just a hint of creaminess to the wine.
This wine won a handful of accolades last year; highly commended in the white wines up to £6 category at the Quality Drink Awards (the winner by the way was Tesco Simply Riesling) and bronze in the Decanter and International Wine Challenge.
Aldi’s Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie doesn’t blow you away; the aromas are feminine and flimsy, but the taste is a light bright crisp lemon sorbet with a tiny bit of complexity from the yeast. Try this with a fish and chips weekend chippy tea. You think I’m kidding, but this wine, whose homeland is near the salty Atlantic coast, will come into its own.
The Exquisite Collection Bordeaux Sauvignon Blanc
Lemon, lime and grapefruit tempt your tastebuds as soon as you take in a deep breath of this wine. If your mouth isn’t watering before you taste this, then you’re missing out on one of the delights of drinking wine.
It’s not a classy expression but hey, sniff before you sip.
There’s a squeezy ping pong of citrus bursts as you drink; the flavours don’t last too long, but it’s a temptingly moreish glass of wine.
The Exquisite Collection Gavi DOCG
Gavi is made from cortese grapes grown around the town of Gavi in Piemonte a wine region of northern Italy.
Now my Better Half wasn’t over-excited by the Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie but the Gavi, well, he liked it Dear Readers.
There’s a perfume of peach and apricot. Not overpowering though; don’t expect a fruit salad of stone fruits, but there’s a flightiness, a waft, a tease. Then lemon comes in on the act as you sip, nudging the peach to one side like a wannabe in the X Factor audition queue so it can gain a better position from which to impress.
In our Sunday afternoon household, as I write, I’m sure this will be perfect with our simple roast chicken and some roasties.
Well, I say that, but I’ve been so busy writing this I’ve forgotten to put them in the oven. Don’t tell my Better Half.
Also in my glass
Lopes de Haro Reserva Rioja 2005 is a superb rioja from the Wine Society for £8.25.
I poured alongside a simple Saturday evening meal of lamb steaks baked with sliced potatoes – basically my version of a hotpot though the purists might have a heated debate. Whatever. This rioja was divine, with chocolate, liquorice, vanilla and new leather jacket aromas (believe me).
Then a sip, another sip, of intense silky smooth dark cherries and chocolate. Think about it, this wine is almost ten years old and it’s amazing at the price. (A little confession; it is sacrilege not to have brown sauce with hotpot and the rioja didn’t complain but was fabulously feisty.)
Here’s another red, and another wonderful one.
Borsao Seleccion Tinto (£9.50, winetrust100.co.uk) has been rated as “possibly the single greatest dry red wine value in the world” by critic Robert Parker. Who am I to dispute that.
Well I won’t because it is gushingly lush-able. Garnacha is upfront and proud centrestage, as blending grapes syrah and tempranillo are perfect in their supporting roles. There’s ripe red fruits on the nose, with a spicy sprinkling of pepper, and an explosion of plummy fruits to liven up even the darkestJanuary gloom.
Published in the saturday extra magazine January 17, 2015