Wines from the discount supermarkets: are they worth the fuss?

All images provided by Aldi and Lidl, unless otherwise specified.

Wine

Discount supermarkets are worth their weight in gold, or wine anyway, at the moment! With the national retailers battling it out against each other for the Xmas season's best buys and New Year's Eve celebratory fizz, the cold winter months beckon and so does the wine. Given the bewildering choice facing us now, where should we go for those warming winter bargains and, importantly, are they any good?

Aldi and Lidl have redefined the minimum standards expected now of inexpensive wines that can be bought at your local supermarket. These 'discount supermarkets' offer a selection of food and drink which has raised eyebrows, not just because of the pricing, but for their quality, picking up several coveted awards. So, with this mind, I hosted the latest of my wine tastings, showcasing a selection of 14 wines from Aldi and Lidl which had impressed me earlier in the year and which demonstrate these two companies' ethos on pricing and quality.

Aldi

Aldi has a core range, as well as limited availability/seasonal offerings. Some of their wines are only available online, while others can be purchased in stores. Their 'Lot Series' comprises a special selection, created exclusively for Aldi in small batches with limited edition, individually numbered bottles at a price of £9.99 each. The 'Exquisite Collection' represents a separate series of good quality wines from top producers in renowned regions around the world. For this tasting, I chose a mix from their core and seasonal ranges, including a couple from the 'Exquisite Collection':-
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Lidl has a core range and also six limited edition 'Wine Cellar' promotions during the year, an increase from four in 2015. Each of these collections comprises around 40 wines and once sold, they are gone! Additionally, they sometimes have other wines on limited offer, e.g. a Champagne Magnum for Christmas. So, eager to showcase some gems from their 2016 Christmas 'Wine Cellar' collection while still in store, I chose the following:-

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My group loved this selection with Aldi's Crémant du Jura and Lidl's Falanghina being the most popular choices and happy participants commented that they will be heading for their nearest stores very soon!

You don't have to wait long for Lidl's next promotion, as on 26th January 2017, a new, limited collection of 38 wines will be launched in stores. These will feature a selection of mainly French and Spanish wines plus a few others, many with lower alcohol levels than we have become accustomed to. Generally, these are of a lighter style and meant for easier drinking to fit in with a less indulgent post-Xmas time of year! In particular, look out for the following three, which I was able to sample at a recent Press Tasting:-

Wine

Image by Robin Goldsmith.

So are low cost supermarket wines worth the fuss? Based on Lidl and Aldi's latest offerings, the answer is an emphatic 'Yes'! Choose wisely and look out for some amazing offers throughout the year, but be quick to grab some seasonal bargains for Christmas and the New Year while stocks last. Safe and happy drinking!

Miscellaneous Wine Reviews

Sparkling Wine for Speciality Stores 2018-01
Rosés for the Summer 2016-08
Nick Faldo Wine Collection 2015-12
Vintage Roots 2014 2014-03
SITT 2014 2014-02
LIWF 2013 2013-06
Emerging Regions 2013 2013-05
SITT 2013 2013-02
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