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Discounter Discoveries – Aldi

We knew that Aldi had moved up the broad grocery hierarchy but it was interesting to hear Julie Ashfield (their Managing Director of Buying) suggesting one contributory factor.

She claimed that “Aldi is growing rapidly and outperforming competitors like never before, and much of this is thanks to our successful wine ranges.”

Indeed, insiders suggest that it is their goal of “bringing affordable luxury to customers” that has helped Aldi become the fastest growing wine retailer in the UK.

Supporting evidence reveals that, in the week leading up to Christmas, Aldi’s sales exceeded 3 million bottles of wine – a historic high for the company.

So, its recently launched Spring & Summer Wine Range stimulated considerable interest.

Almost all the range is under £10 and some are ‘off-the-beaten-track’ wines that may surprise (including, for instance, an Australian malbec).

The company also discerns a resurgence in sparkling wines that are alternatives to champagne – with December 2022 recording a “year-on-year” increase of 17% in total sparkling wine sales. 

Enough of the background, though, let’s see what a selection of those wines actually tastes like.

Although some wines are too new to make it to the Aldi website yet, pictures and hyperlinks are included where possible to make it easier to track down the wine in question.

Let’s start in Australia

2022 Specially Selected Australian Viognier (£6.49 at Aldi): South Eastern Australia: 13.5%:

Thanks to the folk at Yalumba, Australia has been doing great things with viognier for half a century now and this brilliantly priced example (from another producer) maintains that standard.

While not as perfumed as French versions, it does offer an extra layer of freshness and does so without compromising the viscosity at which viognier excels.

Despite limited aromas, there is a real boldness to this wine’s ripe peach, red apple and mango flavours that are built into a viscous, clean yet savoury depth and contrasting tongue tingling orange acidity.

Next a familiar name

2022 Freeman’s Bay Sauvignon Blanc (£6.79 at Aldi and 12.5%abv):

This New Zealand favourite is a long-standing part of Aldi’s white wine range, but the price has been creeping slowly northwards.

Don’t let that deter you, however, it remains great value for money, compared to many rivals, even at almost £7.

Soft with evolving crispness, it features pithy grapefruit, apricot and melon flavours coupled with green herb elements and lingering acidity.

And an un-familiar companion

2022 Filos Estate Greek Chardonnay (£8.99 at Aldi and 13%):

Greece’s Amyndeon (sometimes appearing as Amindeo) is a high-altitude region in the northwest of the country where the cooler climate helps produce excellent white wines.

Understandably, the acclaimed assyrtiko grape grows there but this one is actually chardonnay – and a wine I greatly enjoyed.

It is classic in style with brilliant use of oak but is nowhere near the price it might command in other parts of the world.

Smoky with a subtle vanilla background, it has soft apple, orange and lemon curd flavours supplemented by sharp tangerine acidity and touches of caramel, but with a nutty edge.

Now for some reds.

Baron Amarillo Rioja (£4.69 at Aldi and 13%):

Youthful, inexpensive Rioja tends to be focussed mainly on its fruit components rather than the oak and maturation imbued elements of, say, crianza and reservas.  

That is certainly so here but this non-vintage option still provides sound, uncomplicated, everyday red wine that comfortably out-performs most other bottles at this price.

Medium bodied and – as I say – fruit driven, it has rosemary influenced cherry and loganberry flavours supported by good acidity and subtle tannin along with suggestions of chocolate and baking spice.  

Moving a little further west.

2021 Mimo Moutinho Lisboa Red (£5.49 at Aldi and 13%):

Another familiar name and yet another star form Portugal, this blend is led by syrah (40%) with the residue evenly divided between touriga nacional and alicante bouschet.

The result is great value red wine that is pleasingly versatile and complex for its position on the price ladder – but will shortly appear wth a smart new label.  

Vivid with aromas that seem slightly sweet, it goes on to display smooth loganberry, damson and strawberry flavours supported by good acidity with rounded smoke and milk chocolate elements – but very little tannin.  

Next that Antipodean malbec.

2021 Specially Selected Australian Malbec (£9.99 at Aldi and 14.5%)

It seems that what Mendoza can do, Padthaway (almost as far south as Coonawarra) can emulate.

While that area is cooler, wetter and further from the equator than Mendoza, it can still produce tasty malbec although its style is nearer to the French versions from Cahors.

Despite its (almost) £10 price label, this version is well worth considering.

Full and dense, it contains intense bramble, black cherry and prune flavours combined with sharp acidity, gentle tannin and suggestions of liquorice, cocoa and cinnamon – note the high alcohol though.

Now to Bordeaux

2016 Chateau Pérenne (£9.99 at Aldi and 14%):   

Although brilliant Bordeaux reds below £10 are like the proverbial “hen’s teeth”, success in finding them is most likely to come away from the main, well-known, production areas.

This one (almost exclusively merlot) from Blaye Cotes de Bordeaux illustrates the point well.

Even then, you have to work for your pleasure, decanting it and allowing plenty of air contact, for it to yield up its enjoyable treasures.

It will become even better, I suspect, if you store it away somewhere cool for a year or two – even though it is already six or so years old.

Medium bodied with spicy perfume, once it opens up this delivers blackberry and elderberry flavours partnered here by hints of cedar, aniseed and savoury herbs along with firm tannin but counterbalancing sharp acidity too.

Finally to a “Home Run”.

Winemaster’s Lot English Sparkling Wine Cuvee Brut (£19.99 at Aldi and 12%):

Another good illustration of the impressive results being attained by winemakers here in England with sparkling wine.

In this case the three classic “Champagne grapes” (chardonnay and the two red pinots) have been shaped into a version with significant lees-based richness rather than concentrating on the fruit elements.  

Opening with yeasty aromas, the early exuberant bubbles quickly subside to reveal a beautifully fresh mouthfeel (embellished by pithy grapefruit acidity).

This serves to enliven its melon, cooked apple and subtle orange flavours that, nevertheless, play second fiddle to the wine’s lees-based richness and slightly gravelly, savoury finish.

Multi-Buy News from Eddie

Asda gets in first announcing their new deal of buy six bottles and get 25% off.

It starts today and runs to Monday May 8th covering two Bank Holiday Mondays and the Coronation Weekend.

We can never be certain about the best price-point bottles as things might change over the 12 day period.

Here, though, a light, fresh Provençal Rosé that starts at £9 will become £5.25.

That looks interesting and good value but to be safe here is something we do know.

This is the cheapest of Brian's recommended Trivento Malbecs from last week starting at £8, down to £6.50, hence £4.88.

Recently tried is this Extra Special Carménère that showed well and starts at £7.25, down to £6.50 and then £4.88.  

And for me the always excellent and highly regarded Torres Sangre-de-Torro that will be £4.50.

Then there is the superb Italian Via Vincini Gran Rosso that is normally £8, £4.50 as well.

Whatever other grocery items are badly affected by inflationary prices, wine does get a very much better shout while these pricings last.

A Final Quick Word from Eddie

Stop Press … from Sainsbury's who are offering “25% off if you buy any 6 bottles over £5 starting on April 26th

The press release and website info' is a little muddled and can't make up its mind if it finishes on May 2nd, or more likely on May 7th.

I guess you will have to look and make sure what-is-what to be certain, but there are currently a few very decent bottles that have a reduced shelf price that work as a double dip. Good hunting!

After today’s glimpse of wines from a single retailer as the main theme, it’s back to budget (but great value) fare from more than one source in Monday’s Top Tip selections.

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Julian Cowburn

Good to see some of the new Aldi wines, thanks Brian. And to see their wine selection getting the credit it deserves.

As always, Eddie’s multi buy tips are most helpful.

Brian Elliott

Yes, Eddie does a great job with those “25% off deals”. Keeping up with them is like trying to catch an eel with your bare hands. While talking of “doing a great job” – those Aldi buyers deserve accolades too, exactly as you suggest.

Eddie Walker

Great stuff about Aldi today Brian. I am a big fan of so much they have given us over the years and sadly bottles that have come and gone.

Time and tide and publishing copy deadlines wait for no-man it seems. As Asda had the drop on everyone with an announcement 2 days ago for their Bank Holiday/Coronation Weekend Special offer of 25% off buy-6 bottles Sainsbury’s came in quickly on the rails with their details. And details can be important as Waitrose, Tesco and Morrisons also join the show now! The latter only gives the deal on the purchase of 6 bottles in one transaction. OK if you want more just check two or more separate purchases on the till belt, but you will need to have multiples of six doing that. Online orders can only be the one maximum of six included for each order.

The rest seem to be if you buy 6 or MORE, then the deal applies to whatever number of bottles purchased up to the maximum. But then check to see when deals end, that are not all the same, to make sure you don’t miss out on what you prefer!

Just a thought here about maximising the effect of going for a few of your favourites. One that jumped up straightaway for me is a popular one of many readers here I think, the excellent Spanish red Mucho Mas. Both Morrisons and Tesco have it but the difference in the discounted price is evident. Tesco will work out at £6 but Morrisons is £4.88, if those pennies do matter to you. And the Tesco deal just to remind folks is with a Clubcard!!!

Brian Elliott

Thanks for the update, Eddie. As you can see from Julian’s comment, your efforts on that front are appreciated – even though it must feel like an ever changing picture.

Richard Wyndham

Morning Brian,

Waitrose started their 25% iff 6 bottles (priced over £5) yesterday – until 9th May. I think they remove other offers, so no double discounts!

Must try the Greek Chardonnay from Aldi. I tasted the Wine Society’s “Greek White” yesterday, lovely mix of Moschofilero and roditis, good value at £8.95. (M&S do a similar mix wine in their Found range). There was also (at the Wine Society Tasting) side by side bottles of a 2020 Chiroubles (£11.95, 13.5%, drink until 2025) and a 2021 Greek Xinomavro (£12.50, 13%, drink until 2025) – both could be served chilled. Two really charming wines – so much interesting good value stuff around!

Brian Elliott

Thanks for news of the Waitrose promotion – they seem to be coming thick and fast, often with minimal notice to those of us keen to give them publicity. On the other point, I would be interested in your views on that Greek chardonnay. Seemed an almost classic style to me.

Dave Porter

Tried the 4 Winemakers Malbec 2022 from the Co-Op and found it very ordinary. Certainly nothing special.

Dave Cronin

Shame Dave, I thought it was pretty good, well made, and great value for under £7

Brian Elliott

Thanks for adding your thoughts Dave, but it is always a pity when something fails to live up to expectations for one of the MidWeek Wines community.

Brian Elliott

Good to hear from you Dave but sorry that one of my commendations did not meet expectations. The definition of the flavours and the (to me) successful integration of the wine’s other components was what persuaded me that this was above average for a £7 malbec.
Demonstrating – yet again – that individual palates sense things in different ways, obviously you were not convinced. It is important to hear those judgements so I can shape what I say about specific wines in future. Consequently, I appreciate your communicating those thoughts and am grateful to you for taking the trouble to do so.
With wine as with most other things, winning every time is impossible. Even if Manchester City win the treble this year, they will still have lost over 10% of their Premiership games.


In Tesco last weekend I noticed they were doing 25% off 3 bottles or more of their Finest range, rather than the usual 6 bottles of anything over £5. It seems they ahve replaced that one with the more traditional one now.

Brian Elliott

Great to hear from you Alastair and thank you for getting in touch. Yes, retailers do seem to be experimenting around the multibuy theme – but, as yet, no one else appears to have followed the Tesco example of restricting discounts to loyalty card holders. I think Eddie has an update on Tesco promotions elsewhere on this comments thread.

Alf King

Morrisons have just reverted to their 25% off six or more offer, no doubt reacting to Sainsbury’s and Aldi. A little caveat emptor required there though as some of their prices seem to have crept up slightly, making the offer less good value to the unwary.

As always a few of their NZ Sauvignon Blancs look good value at this discount and, of course, they are often absent from their shelves when I get there. I need to be a better “early bird”!

Brian Elliott

Thanks for keeping us up to speed on the evolving discount story, Alf. If I see someone sitting on the doorstep of a Morrisons store just before it opens, I will come over to say “Hi”.
Morrisons does indeed get some good options (one benefit of buying in slightly smaller batches that, say, Tesco). I hear that their top man is retiring shortly though so let’s hope that his successors in the team keep up the standard.

Eddie Walker

Hi Alf …
Beware Morrisons offer! Yes you will get 25% off any 6 you buy, but not ”6 or more”, the 7th bottle on the till belt won’t work! It won’t work with an online shopping cart either. Here is a link to an NZ-SB, the excellent Marlborough Mud House. .
It says in the red box, bottom right, ”Maximum of 6 promotional item per customer”. Imo it’s daft. If you wanted to buy 12 bottles say, you’d need to split them into two separate transactions. The other retailers don’t work like that.

Chris Barclay

This thread has several sub-threads and some emotions resulting from individual likes and dislikes all handled in a very grown up manner. I hope others join in and express their preferences. Wine is made now in so many styles and there is much more diversity.

I would like to single out a wine from Aldi the Baron Amarillo. I bought 10 wines all regarded highly by Brian and Decanter. I didn’t like the whites or the reds and then the final wine was the Amarillo Rioja Riserva. Brian recommended the 2016 however I got the lesser 2017 vintage however it was superb. I love well balanced wines and this has that and a strong structure despite being very dry. It has fruit, blackcurrants and Cherries, however it is the herbs that predominate. Is it Rosemary? 6 years plus Barrel and Bottle aging and it only cost £5.79 and very stable due to 13.5% alcohol and it’s maturity. Has to be my red of the month. Possibly more of a food wine due to the dryness however keen to hear from others

Brian Elliott

Thanks Chris. It was touch and go whether to recommend the basic Rioja or the Reserva you mention. Both are good illustrations of their respective styles – and are at a great price. I appreciate too your words about this particular comments section which, I felt, summed up the idea of an online wine community well. Do keep sharing your thoughts.


2022 Filos Estate Greek Chardonnay Keep seeing this being reviewd. But not in any Aldi around where I live. Does it really exist?

Brian Elliott

Having tried (and enjoyed) it, I can confirm that it certainly does exist but perhaps all those reviews mean that it is getting sold out quickly. I hope you track some down soon and it is good to hear from you – even if it is about a wine that, so far, has eluded you.

Derrik Smith

Great spot for the 2016 Chateau Perenne!
We’ve bought as many bottles as we could lay our hands on!
Agree that it will improve from longer cellering, but is very good already (definitely needs decanting).
Served at a recent dinner party, our friends complained that we were ‘spoiling them with expensive French wine’…seemed a shame to tell them the truth!
Many thanks Brian…

Brian Elliott

Keep quiet with those guests is my advice! After all, two out of the three points are correct – it is French, and you are spoiling them. I am pleased that you found that steer helpful though because I hesitated about featuring that wine since it does still need time or decanting – and often gets neither. One of the downsides of reds (especially claret) being released too early in my opinion. Instructive that it is from one of the less grand parts of the Bordeaux area.

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