We all like a bargain, and discounters like Aldi and Lidl are changing the way many people buy wine.

It seems that more of us are heading to the ‘discounters’ as Aldi and Lidl supermarkets are known. Apparently they acquired another 1.6 million shoppers in the last three months, pushing their joint share of the grocery market to 14%, which means that they have overtaken Morrisons and are now snapping at the heels of Sainsbury and Asda.  Of course they are totally independent businesses and really shouldn’t be grouped together, but the way they operate, with a limited range, and a WIGIG (when it’s gone, it’s gone) approach to retailing, they have transformed the way we all think about shopping.

They started just a few years go with small stores in the less favoured parts of town, but have now gone mainstream, so much that if you have one of these two stores in your neighbourhood it is seen as an advantage in the same way that a Waitrose used to be the defining character of a good place to live.

Quite often it is the wine departments of these stores that have grabbed headlines for great wines at good value prices, so I have tasted through their new ranges to see where you should spend your money.

Aldi has a core range that stays on the shelves all year round. In addition, new wines are added, some which may be long-term additions while others are purely there for the season. Prices are not all rock bottom. In recent years the range has stretched up the price points with a equal rise in wine quality. You can buy cheap wine at Aldi, but you don’t have to.

Aldi’s wine buyer Mike James, who has steered the range from those early days when the selection was very limited, has been promoted to buying on a global scale and in his place are two buyers who have inherited the current range that now is brimming with confidence and keen negotiation.

Lidl’s wine range is made up of a core selection of wines, but the emphasis is generally on parcels of wines that arrive every couple of months, adding excitement and new flavours to the shelves. The Wine Tour which has just arrived is a collection of 30 new French wines that will stay on the shelves until they sell out, which I am assured is around two months, when yet another selection will arrive.  While this in-and-out process keeps the wine range looking fresh, it does mean that if you particularly like a wine, you might not be able to find it when you go back.

Here are my favourite dozen wines from these two discounters.

Aldi Wines

Toro Loco Reserva 2015, Utiel-Requena, Spain, Aldi £5.49

Packed with summer pudding fruit with just enough structure to stand up to a mid-week casserole, this is bargain drinking.  There is a ‘little brother – Toro Loco Superior’ to this wine, at just £3.99, which will take care of the first

few days of the week, but the Reserva is well worth its premium.

Exquisite Collection Padthaway Chardonnay 2018, South Australia, Aldi £5.79

If you have avoided Australian Chardonnay because of the oak, then try this.  Clean, fresh, full of melon fruit and absolutely no oak. Its rounded flavours will be happy alongside grilled white fish, baked salmon or even roast chicken.

Exquisite Collection Argentinian Malbec 2018, Uco Valley, Mendoza, Aldi £5.99

A long-term favourite in the range, this manages to hit the right flavour profile of mulberry fruit, a touch of spice and just enough structure to handle a steak, and yet stays at this great value price.

Taia Piera Lugana 2018, Veneto, Italy, £6.99

I would normally think of this as a Springtime wine, but it is new on the shelves and will only last until stocks run out, so it is worthwhile picking up a bottle when you see it. Hitting well above its price point, it has leafy, rounded flavours with a definite herbal note.  Team this with seafood pasta.

Jolie Ciel de Lilac Côteaux d’Aix en Provence Rosé 2018, France, Aldi £8.99

Rosé wine is not just for summer.  It can lift the mood and taste delightful alongside a whole range of foods, from a niçoise salad to smoked salmon canapés.  This one is dry, elegant and has light strawberry fruit.

Exquisite Collection Lyme Block Bacchus 2018, Devon, England, Aldi £9.99

The Bacchus vine is particularly suited to the English climate, providing light elderflower aromas and crisp, granny smith flavours with a hint of peach mid-palate.  This is a perfect wine for salads and fishy starters.

Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut, France,  Aldi  £12.49

This great value champagne is rapidly becoming a legend as it continues to provide flavours well about its price point.  Soft, creamy, baked apple notes with a hint of toast and a balanced finish make this one to pour on Friday and Saturday nights.

Pata Negra Rioja Reserva magnum 2015, Spain, Aldi £15.99

This arrives in store on November 1, and from previous years I know that these large format bottles sell out fast, so buy when you see it.  It has a rounded, dark, plum fruit with a silky style and a touch of oak on the finish.

Lidl

Grenache, Val de Salis 2018, Languedoc-Roussillon, France, Lidl £5.99

Lively dark plum and forest fruit flavours wrapped up with smoky, mocha and tobacco notes.  Perfect with sausages.

Costières de Nîmes Blanc 2018, Rhône, France, Lidl £6.99

White Rhône wines are few and far between but this one deserves to be tasted for its soft white blossom aromas and a savoury, honeysuckle and peach flavour.  Bold enough to accompany roast pork or herb-spiked chicken.

Valréas Côtes du Rhône Villages, France, Lidl £6.99

From one of the best villages in the Côtes du Rhône AC, this is a lively, juicy wine, with blackberry fruit and a sprinkle of herbs.  Easy drinking, this will accompany pizza, pasta or a lamb chop supper.

Jean Cornelius Pinot Noir 2018, Alsace, France, Lidl £7.49

Better known for its white wines, Alsace also produces some excellent red.  This is a light, fragrant, fresh Pinot, with cherry fruit. Try it slightly chilled with salmon.

About The Author

Christine Austin

Christine is a wine writer, broadcaster and a wine judge for several international wine competitions. She has a technical background and spent five years as a buyer for a major supermarket before moving to wine writing.She writes for The Yorkshire Post Magazine and organises the York Festival of Food and Drink. She has won both the Lanson and the Roederer prizes for wine writing.

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