First published online in the Irish Times 16th November, 2018
Aldi has been working hard to improve its wine range, and now have a pretty decent core range of wines. These are my favourites from its Christmas line-up, which are set to be available from all 133 of its Irish stores.
Veuve Monsigny Celebration Champagne NV
12%, €22.99 (magnum €50)
Aldi’s Cremant de Jura (€11.99) is one of the best-value fizzes, but if you fancy splashing out a bit, this is a very upmarket champagne, with crisp green apple, a touch of brioche and a decent finish. Very good value.
Castellori Soave Superiore Classico 2017
Decent light, fresh green-apple fruits with a dry finish. Perfect for parties and with lighter seafood dishes. Quite incredible at the price.
Limestone German Riesling 2017, Pfalz
Floral, with light, fresh crisp red-apple fruits and a touch of honey; fairly dry. As with the Soave above, great value for money. Party wine.
Lot Series Lot XI Australian Chardonnay 2017, Clare Valley & Margaret River
Google tells me that Clare Valley is more than 2,700km from Margaret River, so this is a unique cross-regional blend. The wine is pretty good: fresh, clean tropical and pear fruits, crisp, almost elegant. Decent value for money.
Redwood Hills Single Vineyard Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018
I’m not a huge Marlborough Sauvignon fan, but this is a very reasonable, well-priced version. Lightly aromatic with lime zest, passion fruit and pears.
The Venturer Series Costières de Nîmes 2017
Decent medium-bodied red with inky dark fruits; very quaffable, and decent value.
Exquisite Collection Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2016
Smooth, well-made ripasso. Not too sweet or extracted, with pleasant dark-cherry fruits.
Lot Series Tasmanian Pinot Noir 2017, Tasmania
Light, supple juicy raspberries and piquant redcurrants. You won’t mistake it for some of the more serious Tassie Pinots, but this is excellent value for money. With duck, game birds or tuna.
Barone Bruni Chianti Classico Riserva 2015
Soft, easy, ripe, sweet red-cherry fruits; easy-drinking wine to go with most red or white meats.
Exquisite Collection Amontillado Sherry
18%, €7.99 (500ml)
Sherry lovers should certainly not miss this, a delicious, piquant, concentrated dry sherry with plenty of toasted nuts, dark fruits and a lovely finish. Outstanding value for money.