June 15, 2024

John Wilson: Highly rated Italian wines rarely seen this cheap


Weekend wines: Lidl’s Wine Cellar offers full-bodied and fruity wines at less than €9

I picked up to two bottles of interesting-looking Italian wine in my local Lidl earlier this week. They are part of the Lidl Wine Cellar and therefore only available for a limited period, but hopefully you will find them in your local branch. Italy has a mass of exciting local grapes, many still unknown to the wine-drinking public. Greco di Tufo and Aglianico are both very highly rated by wine critics, so it is rare to see them at these prices.  

Greco di Tufo 2020

Greco di Tufo is a native Campanian grape variety, grown up in the volcanic ash soils above Naples. The Ancient Greeks are believed to have brought the grape here, hence the Greco part of the name. Tufo is both the area where the grapes are grown and the soils – created by volcanic eruptions. Lightly floral aromas, with pear and quince fruits, and a lip-smacking mineral acidity. This would go nicely with grilled sea bass, or pasta in a herby fresh tomato sauce. €7.99 from Lidl.

Aglianico de Vulture 2019 Corte Aurelio

Aglianico is one of the most revered grape varieties of Campania and Basilicata where this wine comes from. Typically, the wines are full-bodied, tannic and often need to be cellared for a few years. This version however is ready to go, with flavours of plum, tobacco and tar with a decent dry finish. Try this with a rich lamb casserole, or a stew of beans and kale. €8.99 from Lidl. 

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