Aldi: Christmas in a Bottle

#AldiAmazingChristmas. Good tag line for a good pre Christmas Press Tasting recently. Why good. Location and Presentation. If you dress well you look good. If you present well you help everyone to feel good.

This week Aldi held its Christmas 2021 Wine Tasting at the Fire Restaurant on Dawson Street in Dublin. They had a broad selection of wine on show along with a host of ‘importants’ from their head office. They were very Covid compliant. All good. And the Wines?

One of my ‘goto’ wines is the Toro Loco range (Valencia) from Aldi. Very well priced, honest, rich and soft. Another, believe it or not, is the ZEROPOINTZERO non alcohol sparkling. Why,? Well it doesn’t pretend to be anything other than an inexpensive non alcohol sparkling drink! Too many of these go out of their way to pretend to be wines! Aldi wines. I’m a fan. Try their new Costellore Zerozecco Non Alcohol Sparkling €2.49 – a blast of bright Muscat fruit and a rich fruit filled, off dry palate.

Watch out for the following. On sale now and through Christmas ’21.

Veuve Monsigny is a reliable brand of Champagne brought to us by Aldi. This time around I really rated the Veuve Monsigny Rosé Brut €24.99. loads of fresh berry fruits set well into a fresh-biscuit bouquet, lashings of tight structure holding the fruit well on the palate and all leading to a long and satisfying finish. Also on show was a lovely Philizot Champagne Blanc de Noirs (in gift tube) €29.99 and a seriously impressive Nicolas de Montalbart Champagne €24.99. If I had to choose I’d take the latter with its biting edge. All in all – a good sparkling selection. Let’s not forget the ever present Crémant de Jura €13.99 (a bit high for me on the effervescent front this time out, but hey, those that want heaps of bursting bubbles won’t be left wanting!)

As expected from a Christmas showing White wines from France were well represented. You know, Chablis, Sancerre and Pouilly Fume (like the Pouilly..) That said, a little number from Argentina caught my attention. Those that know me also know that I am NOT a fan of inexpensive Pinot Grigio! (mmmm hate most of it truth be told….) So, why did I like the Buena Vides Argentinian Pinot Grigio at only €7.49? Because it has a restrained and fine fruit with hints of apricot and pear and a genuinely very fine palate structure. Nothing wishy washy here! Best Value at the Show.

Sauvignon Blanc fans will be pleased to see that the Winemaster’s Lot Sancerre €14.99 is drinking well as is the Winemaster’s Lot Cote de Provence Rosé €11.99. A red that took my fancy was the Specially Selected Fleurie at the quite extraordinary price of only €8.99. Beaujolais has taken a turn for the better in terms of quality in recent times. This is usually seen, however, in wines a lot more expensive than this is. From a good cardinal purple/red to a definite nose of bright red fruits to a well worked palate rich with ripeness and structure. Yup. It’s a good one!

Interesting, and I dont think it’s just because it’s that time of the year, but I did find that a couple of the red wines from the Rhone Valley will make excellent ‘Winter Warmers’. Try the Specially Selected Rasteau €11.99. It’s a young wine and vibrant. That said, the fruit is well sourced and comes across as delicous with a good structure and a long finish. Another young Rhone (each is 2020), the Specially Selected Crozes Hermitage €15.99 has a good grippy edge to the fruit and would make a fine addition to everything roasted.

Finally, look out for magnums (1.5l size) this year. Aldi will bring us a Malbec from Argentina at €15.99 and a Rioja Reserve at €19.99. Nothing makes the table look more impressive than a Magnum!