Press enter to see results or esc to cancel.

Discounter Discoveries – Lidl Wine Tour

As the old adage tells us, it is indeed an ill-wind that blows no good.

Certainly, the “cost of living” crisis does seem to have provided a helpful following wind for the UK’s premium discounters.

Not only has Aldi now replaced Morrisons as the UK's fourth largest supermarket overall but, last week, it retained its Drinks Retailer of the Year title.

Its compatriot, Lidl, also produces impressive fare and wins prestigious awards.

Indeed, it is Lidl that goes under the spotlight this time because its latest Wine Tour promotion starts this very morning.

Here are my highlights from the clutch of new world wines that provide the central theme for this latest “tour”.

Adopting my traditional format, images and, where possible, hyperlinks accompany the assessments of the wines.

Here’s the first of my top five

In South Africa, chenin blanc was once a grape variety produced on an industrial scale with a finesse that could also be described as “industrial”.

Not so now, as this example from Paarl (a major chenin area) illustrates.

Enthusiastic growers now create versions that have all the subtlety and style that characterised Loire Valley versions (and, with climate change, is doing so again).

Perfumed by apple blossom influences and mildly textured, 2021 Paarl Chenin Blanc (£6.99 at Lidl and 12.5% abv) brings us sweet-edged pear, apple and ripe melon flavours with clean tasting lemon and grapefruit acidity, a vague chalkiness and (presumably oak derived) nuttiness.

Staying in South Africa

Alarm bells rang when I saw mourvedre on the list of ingredients of this South African rosé as grapes with thicker skins like that can push rosés towards bitterness.

Happily, I was wrong because this turns out to be light, “drink anytime” wine with hints of tropical fruit ripeness that provide balance yet never tip over into cloyingness.  

I also feel that this performs significantly better than its 84 points on the Lidl website suggests.

Clean but refreshingly zingy, 2022 Belmont Sauvignon Blanc Rosé (£5.99 at Lidl and 12.5%) exhibits fresh apple, cranberry and cooked rhubarb favours enlivened by developing tangerine acidity and supplemented by peach hints that add sweetness without the confected influences that spoil too many rosés.

Switching to Reds

Spurred no doubt by the success of Marlborough with sauvignon blanc, the more southerly Central Otago region realised that its terroir was also ideal for a classic grape variety – but pinot noir, this time.

Its strong sunlight but cold nights coupled with dry summers that reduce the risk of vine-based diseases have made the region’s prowess with pinot a major success story over the last 30 years.

Prices are longer cheap but this well priced option provides a perfect introduction to why New Zealand pinot noir has acquired such a strong following.

Floral yet with an underlying earthiness that adds a savoury twist, 2020 Outlook Bay Pinot Noir Reserve (£9.99 at Lidl and also 12.5%) delivers raspberry, blood orange and red currant flavours accompanied by balanced acidity and little tannin but with allspice and cola influences.

Next to Chile

Chile’s Rapel region is part of that country’s Central Valley and is an area well known for its carmenere (as featured here) and its cabernet sauvignon.

With its chocolate and savoury flavours, carmenere is an unusual grape with a long growing season and surprisingly small need for water – but get it right and the results can be excellent.

Note, however, that this – and the cabernet franc that follows it – both respond well to decanting.

Dark yet aromatic, 2020 Carmenere Gran Reserva (£7.49 at Lidl and 14.5%) offers us minty cassis, raspberry and damson flavours coupled with evolving acidity (but limited tannin) and suggestions of clove, caramel, liquorice and vanilla. 

Sticking thereabouts

Colchagua Valley is actually part of the Rapel region but is itself quite varied in terrain encompassing both high ground and vineyards that almost run down to the Pacific.

This cabernet franc (cab sauvignon’s dad) from there is powerful red wine with black fruit flavours that differ appreciably from the tangy raspberry centred versions of France’s Loire Valley.

Intense and solid, this was the pick of the Wine Tour for several observers.

Dense with terrific depth, 2020 Cabernet Franc Colchagua, Chile (£8.99 at Lidl and 14.5%) contains blackberry, plum and green pepper favours built into a broadly based background that embodies chocolate, black pepper, mocha and herbal components with firm tannin and a gravelly minerality.


Two new sets of deals to report this week – starting with the Co-op who have a couple of pounds off CVNE White Rioja, Diablo Dark Red and Campo Viejo Tempranillo Rioja until 18 October.

Waitrose began a new promotion yesterday that runs through to 1 November. As ever, the list is an extensive one and I shall try to pick out something from its content to feature as Star Buy in a future post.

The “25% off when you buy 6” deal seems to have ended at Tesco but the comparable one at Sainsbury’s does not expire until 1 October. As ever, do check the small print before making any commitments and remember that these promotions end a day early for online purchases.

Join me again on Monday to see what I am I recommending as the latest Top Tips among High Street retailers.

Subscribe for FREE!

Do you want every review I write, direct to your inbox, absolutely free?



Eddie Walker

Hi Brian. A lot of plaudits for Aldi just now, overtaken Morrisons for 4th place in the supermarket stakes. Quite an achievement. I do value the Aldi wine range that still delivers relatively cheap, and plenty and interesting bottles of decent quality. I appreciate Lidl doing it a little differently with their ”Tour” offers injecting new stuff regularly albeit doesn’t always last long in the crates! But these Lidl specials are creeping up in price to the extent that I don’t buy/try as many as I used to. But when I shop tomorrow I will have the SA-SB Belmont rosé at £5.99! Just to mention though if people are in Lidl specifically for any of your recommendations this weekend, Friday through Sunday, it looks like the WOTW offer is their basic Gavi at £3.99. A very good price that, as is the weekend after when their Grüner Veltliner is down to £4.49. One niggle I have about Lidl is their website that informs us these WOTW offers ONLY apply to Scotland and Wales, without listing an England availability of anything. And yet they are there in-store!!

Brian Elliott

Those (apparent stock clearances) of Gavi and Gruner do seem well worth following up so many thanks for the tip. As you have mentioned before though, availability does vary appreciably from store to store.

Chris Barclay

Thank you Eddie for providing these Nuggets and Sage advice! I’m all set!

Steve Perry

Hi Eddie, this week’s Wine Of The Week for England wasn’t shown on their web site, but the Gavi, as you say, was listed under Scotland. Normally, as you know, there are 2 different wines, one for each country, I’ll have a look at my local store tomorrow, and see what’s going on. Interestingly the only Gavi shown on the Lidl list is a Gavi DOCG with a price tag of £6-99. If they are indeed knocking it out this weekend for £3-99, that is a very good price. Don’t think they usually reduce their WOW by that much, (£7 down to £4), but hopefully, I’ll find out tomorrow.

Brian Elliott

Lidl do seem to have standard “residual stock clearance” prices – so £3.99 is not impossible for that wine; I have no inside information though. Thanks for calling attention to these promotions – other MidWeekers really appreciate the “heads up” you and Eddie provide.

Eddie Walker

Hi Steve
I failed to pick up the in-house magazine last week to see what they were saying on the back page about the next WOTWeekend offer, starting tomorrow Friday 30th. I take your point about the Scotland/Wales notification as is online, and nothing down for England, but that’s weird in itself because are they are not supposed to discount in Scotland (and Wales too?) because of the minimum pricing laws? Is that right? Normally whatever is advertised as available in Scotland is either a different bottle or the same as England but a higher price. The £3.99 that Brian mentions is this typical price for the residual stock,, unsold from the crates from previous Tours. I think it is determined by management at local or district level whether they bother to do it or send stuff back to the depot. Other people I’m in contact with like Dave Cronin never sees these discounted bottles in stores close to him, in Hertfordshire? Some time ago in my best local outlet as a Tour changed I caught a good one with nearly 12 bottles of the Bastide Miraflors Cotes de Roussillon reduced from £8.99 to that £3.99!!! When I grabbed it and asked how it had mystically materialised after they’d not had any for weeks I was told it came to them from another nearby store where they hadn’t sold well, because my store HAD shifted their allocation!!! It all seems so arbitrary with Lidl at times. Best now …


Evening all. Something the tech people at Lidl HQ will I’m sure look into but I think the best option is to always check the leaflet and it’s always available via the Lidl Plus App. You need to set up your location so will always get to see the correct leaflet. There’s money saving coupons weekly so win-win.
Eddie – Scotland can reduce wine as long as it stays above the minimum unit price that’s why there will be a £1 difference here. £3.99 would be illegal in Scotland. I also remember the pre minimum unit days when I’d run to several stores local and clear the leftover wine tour at £3.99 a bottle……..
Drink well all.

Eddie Walker

Hi Chris …Steve … Brian …
The online has been updated as of this evening and is showing me the Gavi is the £6.99 bottle saying it will be £4.99. Apparently they have been running around with the goalposts because this offer is now not attached to any Fri/Sat/Sun. weekend limitation that has been usual for some time, but they have returned to the old week-long offer, starting Thursday and running until the next Wednesday. All this nonsense apart at £4.99 with a £2 discount I will be having some. Gavi doesn’t usually come in as cheap as a fiver so it’s value if it’s a decent one.

Richard Wyndham

Stock clearance of previous Wine Tour bottles: I have 3 Lidl stores close to me, and one of them left an unattended trolley (On Tuesday evening) with some of the new Wine Tour bottles – and a sheet of paper listing some of the outgoing Wine Tour wines. It seems that the reduced prices are set centrally. It listed a bunch of wines to be reduced to £3.99, and a shorter list of wines to be reduced to £7.99 – all to be actioned on Wednesday – the day before the official release of the new Tour. Two of my local Lidls initially did not indicate price reductions on the shelf or put the old wines in a separate bin. But if you take a bottle to the till and the prices had been reduced. (Like our local Waitrose centrally reduce, at the till, all fresh bakery items to half price at 18.00 – whether or not they are shown as reduced at the shelves) The other store, as they have done before, are pretty prompt at setting up clearance bins, clearly showing the reduced prices. But beware, the system can have errors – I bought some of the Caiz Vinho Verde in the £3.99 bin, and only noticed when I got home that it had not been reduced – a simple error in the centrally marking down I assume. So it pays to be alert at the checkout.
The other thing I notice is that Lidl seem very prompt at removing online references to no longer stocked wines. (I enter details of all my wines on Cellar Tracker, and like to know the original price and recommended drinking window) So worth noting down Brian’s excellent recommendations ready for any future scooping up of bargain bottles. I won’t say what the best bargains I bought this time – to avoid annoying those that missed out! Like the time I saw a bin on the shelf with a label “Premier Cru Chablis – £3.99 – when it’s gone it’s gone”- and it was all gone!

Brian Elliott

My thanks to you, Eddie and Chris for helping folk to set the best “Lidl Residuals Tactics”. The pay-off seems really attractive from the prices being quoted here. Much appreciated.

Chris Barclay

Thank you Brian for providing this Forum which contains such Sage advice! I’m all set!

Brian Elliott

Thanks Chris and thank you too for your kind words to fellow subscribers who have commented … Best …. Brian

Eddie Walker

Thank you Richard for your detailed posting on these residuals. Today, Friday when I went to shop there was a basket with about 15 to 20 bottles and a handwritten label saying reduced to £7.99! I keep all the instore brochures where the Wine Tours first get an airing. to refer to at a later time, and I’m pretty sure some of these white bottles were never £7.99 in the first place …. IF they were ever part of any Wine Tour! The reds might well have been £7.99, so in truth no reduction at all. Maybe it’s just some old stock they are trying to unload, for way too much money. As for the price of the wine of the week in England …it doesn’t matter because it doesn’t exist any longer. Looking at a brochure it’s not listed in there and neither is a bottle for next week of the Gruner Veltliner that IS available in Wales/Scotland according to the online information via the app and email notifications. All very confusing and all very disappointing that these changes to me are a backward step in being able to have stock bottles on weekly offer at a reduced price, like my favourite Chianti Riserva . Brian … I got the SA Paarl CB and the Belmont rose. Cheers for now.

Richard Wyndham

Hi Eddie, yes I’ve certainly seen some reduced wines that I don’t recall being in the previous wine tours. But this week the Premier Cru Champagne and the Pouilly Fume were both at £7.99! And the decent Morgan and various others that I knew were at £3.99. Earlier in the year I bought quite a few bottles of Broadwood Folly fizz (which I think comes from Dembies Estate) at £3.99!
I like your idea of keeping the in-store brochures, and will do the same.
I also very often sign up for the Zoom review of Lidl Wine Tours hosted by the excellent Diana of Wine Events Scotland. Richard Bampfield is often signed in, gives excellent insights on the wines and is happy to engage with us amateur enthusiasts. Friday today – Happy Drinking.

Chris Barclay

Very valuable point Richard and if your Lidl store has self service tills you can nip over and flash it past the ‘reader’ and then decide put it back in your trolley or shelf as appropriate.

David Cronin

Must give a mention to the Carmenere and Cabernet Franc, very much under the radar, but they are both excellent powerhouse reds, full of flavour and depth, both at 14.5% abv and for me the picks of your selection (not too keen on the labels though)

Brian Elliott

Forgive any labelling Dave if the content passes muster! Not only are these reds sturdy but they do respond well to decanting. For me, the carmenere (despite being cheaper) was just ahead of the cabernet franc on Day 2.

Eddie Walker

The last time around in September last year the Chilean Cabernet Franc was £9.99. This time it is £1 cheaper!!

Chris Barclay

Thanks Dave for Sage advice and I rate these both as usually worthy of at least 90/100 and they can be bought for £4! I often find that half a bottle per day is sufficient!

Chris Barclay

This Oct/Nov 2022 Lidl new world Wine Tour was really excellent for picking up high scoring wines. Singling out a six quid 2021 Malbec all the way from Mendoza Argentina that back then Decanter scored at 88 points however have now adjusted to to 92 points however I have only 6 bottles left sadly. Will last to 2024 perhaps.

Watch out for this wine going forward! It’s old vines the company is ancient and is old world!

Flinca Flichman crafted the ferment to 13.5% and as the Malbec evolved it grew into a delicious mouthful of plum, cherry and dark chocolate.

I have just the ticket; some 30 day matured sirloin steak, some chips, some chestnut mushrooms, asparagus and home crafted tomatoes. Bit of horse radish and beef gravy to deglaze the pan!

Brian Elliott

Sounds like a “mature” marriage made in heaven, Chris. – mature wine, mature vines and mature steak. Hope it all lived up to expectations.

Chris Barclay

Here’s me unusually singing the praises of a red wine with a sweet edge to the finish however there is a balancing acidity which is unusual to see in a Oz claret type blend. There is merlot and petit verdot in the cepage however this is predominantly a curranty cabernet.

I’m sipping this right now and it is so smooth that it feels as if all the grapes were together in the same tank. It always scores well from Decanter however this 2020 Conawarra was rated in 2022 at 90 points and it’s improving and I’m sitting pretty and I am chuffed. It also has a screwtop so that is a bonus for aging!

Decanter frowned and described it as commercial but I disagree it’s just to me perfectly balanced and worth more. There is oak and vanilla, there is spicy pepper, There are black and purple fruits to die for. The palate is very complex so has anyone else bought this wine and can we score it higher please. I think 93 suits me however what do you feel? For once I feel seduced by the new world?

Brian Elliott

Yes, traditionalists and others can get sniffy about red wine with a bit of sweetness but components like that can add richness and, as you say, can work well providing there is counterbalancing acidity. Indeed, looking at current trends, it is overly savoury red wines that seem to be falling out of favour – especially at lower price points.

Chris Barclay

After the garden work it’s lovely to relax with a glass of the 2020 Chilean Cabernet Franc Gran Reserva described perfectly above in Brian’s Original post. 92 points from Decanter and still holding it’s poise beautifully. No hurry to drink up and Decanter’s drinking window is 2022-2024.

Brian Elliott

Its depth and complexity of flavours suggested that there was real aging potential in that wine but good to see it confirmed by your taste buds, Chris., almost two years on.

Chris Barclay

Glad to report that I bought loads of remaindered Outlook Bay 2020 Marlborough Reserve Pinot Noir due to you singling it out above in your original header.

I must record Brian that your palette is amazing for finding wines that are outstanding and some can age.

I’ll make another bold thesis regarding buying wines with screw caps so you can keep them in any orientation. Corks are high risk organically!

How do I score this tipple? Well Decanter said they preferred The Otago version which they rated at 90 points and the wine I bought was originally value by Richard Bampfield at 87 points so I’m happy to think this wine is worth at least 89 points and to me more!

Talking about risk, I avoided it this time by also buying some of the remaindered Otago wine just in case Decanter had also found a “belter.” I’ll report back soon.

Brian the blood oranges you mention above are now piercingly acidic giving this wine an exceptionally long after taste of minutes!

The raspberries and red currants you mention above are still haunting; the floral and earthy notes you found are still present and I wish to add lemon zest and traces of Lavender.

I read that Pinot Noir is 1000 years older than Cabernet Sauvignon and on the basis of what I have just sipped it is now my favourite red grape.

Brian you said it had little Tannin well I assure you that the Tannin is still there and this I believe could keep the wine alive.

Decanter gave the Otago wine a drinking window up to 2023 however I think I will keep half my stash until 2024

Chris Barclay

I have now tried the Otago Pinot Noir and glad to report it is also very fine to drink however needs drinking now.

Most of the comments above still apply however there are significant differences if we compare this to the Marlborough wine.

The Otago really needs drinking soon and that will be a pleasure. The colour is taking on a little brick now and is a little lighter. The bouquet is floral and a joy. All residual sweetness has gone and there is a savoury twist now. The tannins have resolved there is a lovely long glow in one’s palette. The blood Orange has turned into a taste of dark Marmalade.

The Otago is fully mature whereas the Marlborough sourced wine is still going strong

Brian Elliott

Thanks for these two updates, Chris, (and for your kind words). It is really helpful for anyone with bottles of both these wines put by to know which to drink first – especially as the instinctive reaction is to give Marlborough that honour whereas your experience tells us that would be wrong way round.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.