Aldi's wines are cheap, as you would expect, but they're bought with care. These are a dozen that stood out at a recent press tasting. Overall, the whites were better than the reds, or at least I preferred them. There's a tendency for the reds to be a bit sweet and/or oaky. Generally, I reckon it's harder to buy whites of any interest at the bottom end than it is to get reds, so buyers Mike James and David Elliott are bucking the trend. The two sparkling wines are both very good value – do try them instead of Prosecco: they're drier, but not too dry, and much more interesting.
LaChéteau Crémant de Loire Blanc de Noirs, £7.99
A fresh, soft-textured, dry sparkling wine made from the red Cabernet Franc grape. Enticing red apple and red pepper aromas and a zesty citrus and peach palate. A bargain.
Exquisite Collection Crémant du Jura 2015, £7.99
Lively, bright-fruited sparkling Chardonnay from the now fashionable (for wine) Jura region in eastern France. Biscuity, peach, apple, pear and spice flavours; dry but not too dry An old favourite, if now slightly outshone by the Crémant de Loire (above) made by the same producer.
Exquisite Collection Rías Baixas Albariño 2017, Rías Baixas, Spain, £6.29
Aldi also now has a wine made from the Godello grape in the Atlantic north west (look out for the eye-catching bottle), but an authentic Albariño at this price is worth grabbing. Sweet citrus fruit, supple texture and a crisp white pepper and lemon peel finish.
Exquisite Collection Picpoul de Pinet 2017, Languedoc, France, £6.29
Crisp, dry white from an area along the Mediterranean’s Thau Lagoon. Herby and lemony with enough texture to give some interest. Bring on the shellfish.
Exquisite Collection Leyda Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Leyda, Chile, £5.49
Punchy, grassy, herbal Sauvignon from cool-climate Pacific coast Chile. Has a touch of smoky roast coffee-bean and lots of citrus bite.
The Project Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Western Cape, South Africa, £5.99
Classic, leafy capsicum Sauvignon nose, with lime juice and white pepper flavours and a salty fresh finish. Can’t go wrong at this price.
Grower’s Club South African Sauvignon Blanc 2017, Coastal Region, South Africa, £9.99
No apologies for including a third Sauvignon. This one is a big step up, bursting with zingy green pepper and ripe gooseberry flavours and a mouthwatering saline tang. Proper concentration and balance.
Exquisite Collection Clare Valley Riesling 2017, South Australia, £6.99
Vibrant, dry Riesling awash with refreshing lime cordial and apple. Australia’s dry Rieslings still don’t have the following in the UK that they deserve, but then that’s pretty well true of all Riesling. Give it a go.
Domaine Ferrandière French Merlot 2017, Pays d’Oc, Languedoc, France, £5.99
Britain’s supermarket wine aisles would be much poorer without the wines of Jean-Claude Mas (aka Paul Mas). This crowd-pleasing Merlot, from the old saltwater marsh of Marseillette, is medium-bodied, rounded, soft and fresh with raspberry jam fruit infused with chocolate and black pepper.
Lot Series Te Haupapa Central Otago 2017, Central Otago, New Zealand, £8.99
This week’s Wine of the Week.
Don Tomas Terroir Selection Malbec 2017, San Juan, Argentina, £7.99
Perfumy, slight jammy, cranberry and hedgerow-berry smell, but convincing dark fruit, spice, mineral graphite and black pepper on the palate and some chunky-ish tannins that would suit meat, not least if slapped on the barbecue.
Finca La Pampa Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Mendoza, Argentina, £9.99
Classic southern hemisphere Cabernet flavours of cassis and dark chocolate lifted by a delicate leafy, herby freshness and backed up by oak and soft tannins.
Photograph by Joanna Simon