Well knock me over with a wet tea towel and force me to drink lager and black.
Sometimes I come across some corkers of wines; and they’re even better when they’re not only cheerful, but cheap too. I’m talking the Aldi wine range which is setting some really good standards and if you haven’t already picked up on that by word of mouth – or glass to lips – then where have you been?
I know I’m not always enthusiastic about chardonnay but one sip of Limestone Coast Chardonnay (Aldi, £5.99) and I was texting friends. The Australian wine is unoaked, is full of tropical fruit but has slight creaminess because of some lees aging. It had the same kind of fresh zinginess you might expect from a sauvignon blanc.
Limestone Coast – commended in both the Decanter awards and the International Wine Challenge this year – is part of Aldi’s Exquisite Collection which was launched last November. It has sold over two million bottles since then.
So far in 2013, Aldi’s beers, wines and spirits range has received 100 accolades, including 33 awards at the International Wine Challenge and 35 at the International Wine and Spirits Competition.
A couple of fizzies to definitely look out for include Aldi Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore (£7.29). My notes say: This fizzed, and fizzed again. Lemons and freshly-cut apples and pears on the nose led to a long-lasting taste of pears and apples. Mouth-watering to the last.
Aldi Champagne Philizot Brut NV (£12,99) has won three silvers this year which isn’t to be sniffed at. If you do, don’t get the bubbles up your nose. It’s a party wine to brag “Champers” to guests without raiding the piggy bank.
Violets and bilberries ooze from Aldi’s Malbec (£5.99) from the Uco Valley in Argentina – another wine in the Exquisite Collection and one of the best-selling. It’s a very pleasant red with integrated tannins and spicy fruits.
The Exquisite Collection Shiraz (£5.99) went well with a cupboard/fridge/forgot-to-shop meal I made this week with sauteed peppers, chillis, mushrooms, bacon, red pesto and tumbled spaghetti. I looked at the shiraz – it looked at me. Shiraz and an Italian plate?
Plums, black fruits, chocolate and liquorice layers have brought this Australian wine commended and silver awards in 2013. And deservedly so.
Published in the saturday extra magazine September 14, 2013