A Wine Review
I’m known for liking a glass of wine now and then, and now that “Dry January” is over what better time than to review a BOX of fine wines! I was sent a case of wines from Aldi – an EXQUISITE selection no less, as the case I was sent was part of Aldi’s Exquisite Collection of wines; the wines arrived towards the end of last week and I decided to plan my weekend around the onerous task of testing and reviewing them! Friends were asked over for dinner on Saturday and a Six Nations Rugby Fest of snacks and wines was planned on Sunday…….what a great way to plan a weekend eh? The Exquisite Mixed Case (priced at a remarkable £38:24 + £3 delivery) that I was sent from Aldi comprised:
Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand (RRP £7:99 a bottle)
Exquisite Collection Gavi from Italy (RRP £5:49 a bottle)
Argentinian Malbec (RRP £5:99 a bottle)
Ribera Del Duero from France (RRP £5:99 a bottle)
Hawke’s Bay Bordeaux Blend from New Zealand (£6:99 a bottle)
Limestone Coast Chardonnay from Australia (RRP £5:79 a bottle)
The bottles look classy and the case averages out at only £6:34 per bottle, which is a bit of a bargain……so,what to test drive first? On Saturday I decided to serve a tasty, seasonal pie for lunch and even though the pie had pork, apples and leeks in it, we’d heard so much about the Malbec, that was the first bottle to be opened! Screwtops are the way to go now, I know that, but it’s always a bit off-putting when opening a screw lid bottle of wine, it just takes away from the drama and ceremony of opening a bottle – however, I need not have been worried, as the contents of the Malbec were nothing short of STUNNING; the wine was smooth, well-rounded and creamy on the tongue with a burst of ripe red fruits and a hint of dark chocolate, it was as we say, extremely quaffable and disappeared in quick short time. The fruitiness really was amazing in this wine, and it made me think that it would be perfect with a big bowl of iron-rich game stew or a meaty casserole to offset the richness of these types of dishes.
Next to be tried, in the evening with some cheese and bread, was the Ribera Del Duero from the France; this was an oaked wine and not my favourite, so I will let someone else describe it, my husband! He said it was okay, but too oaky for his taste and the tannins were too strong too – he said it would be good to serve it after allowing to breathe for at least an hour, with steak, venison, beef or lamb. Made with Tinta del Pais (Tempranillo) grapes, this was our least favourite wine. The last red in the case was the Hawke’s Bay Bordeaux Blend – this was a delicious fruity wine, and very pleasant, but we all felt that it didn’t live up to the Malbec – it was a decent wine that I would be happy to serve, but not exceptional. It’s made from a blend of Bordeaux style grapes and had a strong taste of cherries and a hint of toffee – it would be perfect with roast beef or roast lamb and is what I call a “lunchtime red” as it was lighter than the Malbec.
On to the whites, we only managed to taste two bottles over the weekend, which was pretty epic I thought, as five bottles was a fair number to test! I opened the bottle of Limestone Coast Chardonnay, out of curiosity as I am NOT a lover of Chardonnay, and I was amazed – this was a FABULOUS bottle of white, not at all what I expected from the chardonnay grape and very pleasant; the main reason we all loved it, was this was an UNOAKED wine – I dislike heavily oaked wines and this was light and floral with a refreshing peachy taste and a touch of pineapple and bananas…..it was a BIG surprise and I would happily buy a bottle of this in the future.
The last wine we tasted was theExquisite Collection Gavi – from Italy – this was delicious, we all loved this and its sunny, bright, fresh flavour which had hints of citrus and curiously enough, melons too. This bottle was enjoyed with bowls of assorted snacks and cheese, and it held up very well to some of the more pungent cheeses. I LOVED this wine, it reminded me of sun-dappled days outside on the terrace and I will be buying this wine again, as I can see it being perfect when served with roast chicken, poached salmon, prawns and fish or seafood in general.
The last wine that needs to be tested is the most expensive of the wines at £7:99 a bottle, is the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc – a favourite grape of mine and also from New Zealand, which is also one of my preferred regions for white wines in particular – so, I am saving it for future delectation – according to Aldi, the wine’s tasting notes are as follows: Complex aromas of white stone fruits with characteristic blackcurrant leaf give way to full flavours of lime drizzled nectarine and an intriguingly soft texture. The finish is long and thoughtful – as would be expected from such an outstanding Marlborough Sauvignon.
I hope that my review of this exceptional case of wine will help change any perceptions you may have about buying wines from budget supermarkets, Aldi has a fine range of wines on offer and as Multiple Wine Retailer of the Year 2015, I think they know a thing or two about wines. Their wine experts travel the world tasting, testing and forging close relationships with suppliers, giving you the very best quality at the very best prices, which is more than evident in this case of wine I was sent. There’s something for every budget, occasion and palate, from their Exquisite Collection to beautiful bubbles, rich reds and wonderful whites, and I hope my short review may have helped you to pick a favourite. Karen
Disclaimer: I was sent a case of Aldi Exquisite Collection wines to review and was also compensated financially for my time. All views and opinions are my own.
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