ALISTAIR GIBSON: The cut-price supermarket that's pushing the boundaries

Aldi's Chilean Gewutztraminer
Aldi's Chilean Gewutztraminer
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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You have to hand it to Aldi, in the past decade the supermarket chain has certainly established itself on the UK high street.

In terms of its wine offering there is no doubt whatsoever that the range has gone from

Aldi's Down the Lane Australian Shiraz Tempranillo

Aldi's Down the Lane Australian Shiraz Tempranillo

strength-to-strength. With the launch of its online wine shop sales increased by some 40 per cent last year.

The wine range maybe be far smaller than many of the more traditional supermarkets but there does seem to be a fairly constant desire to be innovative and to introduce new wines regularly.

I recently tasted some of Aldi’s new Wine Festival range and while – if I’m completely honest – they didn’t all work, there really were a couple of stand-out wines. And, of course, value is the key word here.

Los Gansos Gewurztraminer 2017, Chile (Aldi £6.99) is a wine I’ve not seen for quite a few years and I can only imagine that Aldi have purchased a parcel of this wine.

Aldi's Earth's Essence Shiraz

Aldi's Earth's Essence Shiraz

Of course, Gewurztraminer is a bit of a Marmite wine but this a great introduction to this

very distinctive grape.

The nose is very aromatic, it literally explodes out of the glass.

It's full of lychee and rose petals and, if you will allow me, Turkish delight.

The palate is quite oily, but in a good way, with rich fruit and just enough acidity to jeep it in balance.

This would be absolutely perfect with a dish of sweet and sour chicken and would work well with a quite a range of Chinese or Indian dishes.

With its slightly punky, label Down the Lane Shiraz Tempranillo 2016, SE Australia (Aldi £6.99) is certainly lots of fun.

The wine is made by one of Australia’s best-known producers, De Bortoli, and without question it takes Spain as its influence.

Blending shiraz with Spain’s most well recognised grape, tempranillo is a neat idea, there are raspberries and cherries and a touch of spice on the nose followed by a nice fresh mouth-feel with easy, smooth fruit.

It is the sort of simple red wine that would be easy to quaff with friends around a summer barbecue, but in the meantime try it with sausage and mash for a midweek supper.

Earth’s Essence Shiraz 2017, Swartland (Aldi £6.99) is one of the most interesting and innovative wines I’ve tasted for some time.

Firstl of all it's made from shiraz grown in South Africa’s currently hip and trendy region the Swartland. But, more interestingly, it's made without the use of sulphur which for those people who are sensitive to sulphur has to be a good thing.

It’s aged by a revolutionary process which has been developed by South African wine producer KWV using wood extracts from the native rooibos and honeybush plants.

They possess naturally high levels of antioxidants, which preserve the wines from oxidation hence these is no need to add sulphur to the winemaking process.

It’s very fresh with juicy red fruits a touch of spice, ripe tannins and a tasty, satisfying finish. Try this with a simple tomato based pasta dish.

Alistair Gibson is proprietor of Hermitage Cellars, Emsworth. Call (01243) 431002 or e-mail

alistair@hermitagecellars.co.uk.