Lidl’s French wine promotion delivers some great bargains

red wine glass

There’s a lovely lady I work with who keeps a special diary. It’s a diary of all the really really important events that take place in the country – nay, the world – at all times of the year.

She does other things too, this lady, very important things; but to me her diary is the most important thing of all.

For instance; I can tell you that recent Very Special Events included National Curry Week and Chocolate Week. It was also National Knitting Week.  If you had a celebration, I hope you  didn’t drop any stitches.

I think there should be an all-year-round event labelled Let’s Celebrate Great Wine Bargains. I’d even bake a cake.

The reason? A few weeks ago Lidl added 48 wines to its range, from across all of the classic regions of France including Bordeaux, the Loire Valley and Burgundy.

Lidl is one of the supermarket chains really upsetting the apple cart for the Big Guns at the moment, and this new range is expected to drive people even more to the stores. The French wine promotion in the UK is worth £12m and the Lidl group have sourced 5% of Bordeaux’s yield.

Lidl wines review

Lidl’s own consultant Master of Wine, Richard Bampfield, has cast his expert eyes (well, tastebuds) over the wines … and by Jimminy there’s some great bargains.

Ben Hulme, senior wine buyer, says: “We feel confident about the launch of our new French wines. We want to aim at people who have not considered us previously. The message is ‘come and a give it a try. Pick up a few bottles and see if you like them.”

I imagine you probably will. But you’ll have to be quick as the wines are available while stocks last and not all wines are available everywhere, and even if they are, there might not be alot of them. Keep an eye out nonetheless.

The best sellers, I’m told, have appeared to be Cotes de Gascogne 2013 (£4.99) Fitou AOP 2011 (£5.99) Bordeaux St Emilion AOP 2010 (£8.99) and the surprising one which is particularly popular, the Monbazillac AOC 2011 (£7.99)

 So, in my glass, three from Lidl:

Chateau Marjosse, Lidl
Bordeaux Chateau Marjosse 2012

Bordeaux Chateau Marjosse 2012 (£8.99) A fruitful deep red, the luscious-lips red of a 40s Hollywood siren. Truckles of black and red berry fruits, some spice and a mouth-watering juicy burst of acidity.

saint emilion grand cru lidl
Chateau Larcis Jaumat 2012 Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux

Chateau Larcis Jaumat 2012 Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux,  (£12.99) Loving this.  A wave of red berry fruits from the glass, rich and inviting, then a plummy depth of  raspberries and hedgerow fruits; bound up with spice, peppering away at your senses.

Domaine de Grangerie Mercurey 2012 Burgundy

Domaine de Grangerie Mercurey 2012 Burgundy (£9.99)  Medium-bodied, just like me. OK, I lied about that last bit. A tenner’s worth of smoky-edged red fruits, but lean and subtle, elegant and a little frisky on the acidity.

Back to curry and chocolate … I left you hanging there and I apologise.  Some brief wine tips on both, should the fancy take you, though not on the same plate I hope.

Chocolate: Try and match sweetness for sweetness. Avoid tannic reds … think of dessert wines. There’s some nice cheap ones, such as an orangey-flavoured Torres Floralis Moscatel Oro (chocolate and orange … yum) which is widely available for about £7.

Curry: Beer might be best, but if you are a wine freak (High Five) then a carmenere from Chile is a good bet or with a Chinese or Thai curry, try a riesling.

This first appeared in the saturday extra magazine October 18, 2014 

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Wine review: McGuigan Classic Semillon Blanc 2012

McGuigan has consistently won many awards. Winemaker Neil  McGuigan  made history by being the  first person to be named world’s best  winemaker in three out of four years. John Torode has joined forces with McGuigan to create an exclusive recipe collection. I tried this wine with green curry barbecue chicken. Continue reading “Wine review: McGuigan Classic Semillon Blanc 2012”

The small print:

South Eastern Australia – 12% abv – Grape: semillon – Buy: Tesco, Sainsbury –  Price: £7.99 – screwcap – 2012 – Tasted Feb 23 2014

Food matches

Veggies, Thai food, Mediterranean food, chicken with creamy sauce

What it says on the vin:

At McGuigan we are passionate about trying to evolve our wine styles to meet the ever-changing needs of our customers. With this in mind I challenged my winemakers to create a new wine style based on the classic Australian variety Semillon. We wanted to retain the vibrant citrus characters, naturally low alcohol and great ageing potential of semillon whilst creating a modern approachable style.

Out of the 18 great wines there was one clear standout chosen; the result is a totally new style of Semillon with lifted aromatics, texture, elegance and length. The wine is fresh, crisp and packed full of tropical fruit. – Neil McGuigan

McGuigan Classic Semillon Blanc 2012
McGuigan Classic Semillon Blanc 2012

In my glass:

Pale lemon; creamy guava, lychee and lemon. Medium acidity which doesn’t overpower but allows the fresh tropical fruits to be at the fore. Lovely and juicy and freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice with freshly scrunched lemon geranium leaves.

  • Find out more from the McGuigan website here 

 In my wine glass: McGuigan Shortlist Chardonnay, 2011, Adelaide Hills