I put the new “this loves” Aldi wines range to the test. Which involves eating. Lots of it.

this loves Aldi wines range

Those wine labels are key to our buying habits (I’ve said many a time) and Aldi has hit on a canny marketing idea to draw us in to a new range of wines.

If you see “chicken” or “lamb” or “pizza” shouting at you in italics from the retailer’s wine aisles it is because the this loves Aldi wines range hooks into our desire to choose the best wine to go with food.

Aldi this loves wine range
The this loves Aldi wines range

It’s a clever little marketing ploy which will see six new this loves Aldi wines introduced by the end of October. The wines (all £4.99) are three whites – chardonnay, chenin blanc, pinot grigio – and three reds – sangiovese, malbec-shiraz and monastrell-petit verdot.

Sam Caporn,  Aldi’s wine expert, says: “A lot of shoppers find food and wine pairing intimidating, especially when faced with a wall of wine in some supermarket aisles. Aldi’s This…Loves range of wines features great tasting, approachable and food friendly bottles that have been created with food loving consumers in mind.”

You know I like it when a food gauntlet is thrown down and I couldn’t resist a little culinary playfulness.

I Put the this loves Aldi wines range to the test

I cooked pizza and poured “this sangiovese loves pizza” (12.5% abv) and for less than a fiver I thought it was a happy little wine.  It certainly wasn’t upset by the pizza challenge it had been set. But I disagree with the label description “richly full bodied” as it is  light bodied and fruity. That aside the strawberry and cherry flavour notes and decent acidity said “hey” to my pepperoni pizza and it said “hey” back.

this sangiovese loves pizza Aldi wine
this sangiovese loves pizza – a Pepperoni pizza

I made a hot pot and shared a bottle of “this monastrell petit verdot loves lamb” (13% abv) with chums, who agreed this wine did indeed love lamb. It has a combination of spice, black fruits, herbs and a flicker of violet.  It is  my favourite of the range. (Saying that, I’ve still to track down the “steak-loving” malbec. I’ll update!)

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I wasn’t as taken with the three whites and “this chardonnay loves chicken” (12.5% abv) made me the happiest. I’d fried chicken thighs in Moroccan spices with chilli and peppers and folded in some couscous.

Aldi probably didn’t have that chicken theme in mind. Sorry Aldi. The light fruitiness of the chardonnay (apples and citrus) cut through the spice and was a refreshing counterbalance.

You know I’m not a lover of pinot grigio (which “loves fish”) and it was well, it was OK-ish; and the chenin blanc which “loves fish and chips” was another oh-so wine. It is light on flavour, fruit and the satisfaction factor.

Overall though, not bad, not bad.

First published in over 30 regional newspapers including:
Hull Daily Mail – Leicester Mercury – Cambridge News – Liverpool Echo South Wales Echo – Daily Post Wales – Huddersfield Examiner
– The Chronicle, Newcastle – Teesside Gazette 
Birmingham Mail – Coventry Telegraph  – Paisley Daily Express 

Members’ Choice Pioneer Pinot Grigio: A new Co-op wine selected by votes!

A few months ago I voted for something close to my heart.  No, not a general election, or even Brexit (though obviously I voted in those and my heart sinks at the memory) …. but for a wine.

I cast my vote for the style, look and feel of a new wine to be created by members of the Co-operative Society.  Six months later, this democratically designed wine has appeared on the shelves.

People were asked to vote for the grape (the choices were chardonnay, pinot grigio and a chardonnay-viognier blend) and later its name and then the label design.

Pioneer Pinot Grigio
Members’ Choice Pioneer Pinot Grigio

The Members’ Choice Pioneer Pinot Grigio (£6.99, 12% abv) is now born. The name Pioneer was selected as a reference to the pioneers of the co-operative movement; and the bear label because it references the Californian wine, as the bear appears on California state’s flag.

What of the wine? It has light aromas of pear, lychee and apple, with more of the same to taste. It is lacking intensity in flavour or acidity to make a memorable impact when you taste, but hey, it’s pleasant enough. 

Joseph Turner, wine buyer at the Co-op said: “Listening to the aspirations and passions of our members and finding ways to meet their needs has always been at the heart of Co-op and I believe the first member wine launch takes this to the next level. Being Co-op is all about working co-operatively as a better way of doing business and I am absolutely thrilled that over 3,000 members were actively involved in helping to shape this product.”

Win a case of Members’ Choice Pioneer Pinot Grigio

The Co-op is marking the launch of the new wine with a special competition. Pop down to your local Co-op, pick up a bottle, take a Pioneer selfie (that’s you and the bottle of wine!) and share on Twitter using #CoopJoinIn. Terms and conditions here.
Competition closes November 9, 2017