June 25, 2024

John Wilson: My Christmas picks from Aldi’s wine range


Wines for the holidays: Three fizzes, a white, three reds, a dessert wine and a port

Aldi seems to have a less exciting line-up than in previous years (the same goes for Lidl), but the supermarket’s Christmas wine range still includes some great-value bottles, particularly sparkling wines.

I feature three below and could have added Veuve Monsigny Brut NV (€19.99), one of the best-value champagnes in Ireland. I also include a white, three reds, a sweet wine and a port, all worth considering for your Christmas Day feast.

Specially Selected Crémant de Jura, €13.99
Amazing value for money, this sparkling wine is certainly good enough to drink as an aperitif. It is also an ideal, less expensive alternative addition to any cocktail featuring champagne. Crisp green apple fruits, with a creamy touch and plenty of vibrant citrus.

Veuve Monsigny Champagne Rosé NV, €24.99
The Veuve Monsigny Brut is great value; if you like pink champagne the rosé version is also a bargain. It features fresh redcurrant and raspberry fruits with toasted almonds and a decent finish. Drink solo, with nibbles or with lighter starters; it would go nicely with smoked salmon.

Philizot Blanc de Noirs Champagne NV, €29.99
Philizot is the company responsible for the Veuve Monsigny champagnes, so it should come as no surprise that this wine, a white made from red grapes, offers value too. Reviving red fruits with toasty brioche and nuts. It even comes in a gift tube – perfect for gift-giving.

Mimo Moutinho Dão White 2020, Portugal, €7.99
Aldi periodically stocks a range of red, white and rosé wines from Portugal under the Mimo Moutinho label. This white from the Dão region, in northern Portugal, is a steal at €7.99. Fresh, with plenty of textured pear and peach fruits, it would make a great aperitif, and would also go very nicely with all sorts of shellfish. Try it with herby Asian prawn dishes.

Specially Selected Fleurie 2020, €8.99
We probably won’t be having many parties this Christmas, but Fleurie and other Beaujolais are ideal red wines to serve before dinner or with platters of cold meats, pâtés and sausage rolls. Light, fruity and tannin-free, this would also go nicely with salmon and tuna dishes.

Specially Selected Gigondas 2019, €14.99
Gigondas, just down the road from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, produces similar wines: rich and hearty, perfect for cold winter evenings. This is full-bodied and powerful, with warming earthy red fruits. Drink it with beef or lamb casseroles, or with roast venison.

Specially Selected Crozes-Hermitage 2020, €15.99
From the northern Rhône, this smooth, savoury Syrah has black pepper, liquorice and dark cherry fruits. This would go down nicely with duck, goose or feathered game.

Specially Selected Sauternes 2016, €8.99
If you aren’t a fan of port, why not give Sauternes a try? From the Bordeaux region of France, the wines are honeyed and rich but lighter in alcohol than port. This has attractive fresh apricots, butterscotch and honey that soothes but never cloys. Try it with fruit salads or blue cheese.

Fletcher’s LBV Port 2016, €13.99
What could be nicer after a festive dinner than a glass of port? Warming Christmas-cake spices and soft, easy, sweet plum fruits. Perfect with Christmas pudding or cake, or simply sipped by the fireside.

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