Paula’s Wines of the Week – 9th November 2021

Paula’s Wines of the Week – 9th November 2021

Top Christmas wines from Aldi

The wine selection at Aldi just gets better and better each year. And this year it’s a stonker – especially for sparkling wines.

Prosecco is here in abundance in a range of quality levels and bottle sizes. DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) is the highest quality level for Italian Prosecco and so to find their Specially Selected Prosecco DOCG Millesimato 2020 at just £8.99 is a bargain. But you needn’t be limited to just one bottle. Aldi have got in the impressive looking larger bottle sizes of Prosecco Magnum (2 bottle equivalent, £13.99), Prosecco Jeroboam (4 bottle equivalent, £39.99) and the whopper Giotti Prosecco Methuselah (8 bottle equivalent, £79.99) but stocks are very limited of this seriously heavy stash of fizz (thanks to the Aldi UK Shoppers Facebook group for confirming sightings in local stores).

Spanish Cava has made a comeback with a vintage choice in Aldi’s Specially Selected range. The 2017 at £6.49 is slightly cheaper than its Italian Prosecco rivals and is a good choice if you recall the great flavours of this fizz from its highs in the 1990s. There’s even a sparkling red – the Specially Selected Sparkling Australian Shiraz (£6.99) – which was a style of wine that made a brief appearance in the mid-1990s and is now back for more ridicule but not if you are in the know and want a great choice to drink with really hot curries.

If you want fizzy wine every day then why not get in the Sparkling Advent Calendar? At £59.99 you’ll get 24 mini bottles including 8 bottles of Prosecco, but watch out as it’s limited to just two purchases per customer.

To match the turkey you’ll find a vast range of wines from around the world. Try the Specially Selected Swiss Gamay 2020 (£9.99 online only) with its sharp strawberry flavours or the two Austrian whites – Lenz Moser Selection Austrian Chardonnay 2020 (£5.99 online only) and the Specially Selected Austrian Grüner Veltliner 2020 (£6.99) both tasting of apple and pears.

With the Boxing Day leftovers get in the Maple Leaf Canadian Rosé 2019 (£7.99 online only) which tastes like a German white or The Falls Canadian Riesling 2019 (£9.99 online only) with its slightly sweet lemon and rose petal flavours that match well with Chinese takeaway.

For pudding the sweet Specially Selected Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos 2017 at £12.99 is great value, as is Fletcher’s 40 Year Old Tawny Port at £34.99 (online only) with its flavours of nuts, coffee and cinnamon. recommends Christmas wines from Aldi

Wine Advent Calendar
£49.99 Limited to 2 per customer
Pretty octagonal box containing 24 mini (15 x 18.7cl, 9 x 20cl) bottles of red, white and rosé hidden behind each door: JP Chenet Original Brut sparkling, JP Chenet Original Rosé, JP Chenet Original Sauvignon, JP Chenet Original Colombard Chardonnay, JP Chenet Original Grenache Cinsault, JP Chenet Original Cabernet Syrah, Brut D’Argent sparkling, Calvet Cotes de Tha Cap D’Adge rosé, Calvet Reserve Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon, Calvet Varietal Syrah, Calvet Limited Release Sauvignon Blanc, Calvet Limited Releas Merlot.

Sparkling Advent Calendar
£59.99 Limited to 2 per customer
Contains 24 x 20cl bottles of sparkling wine: 8 bottles of Prosecco, 8 sparkling Italian Rosé, and 8 sparkling Pinot Grigio. Pinot Grigio Vino Spumante, Rosé Vino Spumante, Prosecco DOC Extra Dry, Pinot Grigio Vino Spumante, Moscato Vino Spumante, Prosecco DOC Rosé Extra Dry.

The Sommelier’s Six Wines Hamper
£99.99 Online only from 28th November
In a wicker hamper you’ll find: Prosecco Millesimato, 2015 Vintage Champagne, Sancerre, White Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Red Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Amarone Della Valpolicella.

Specially Selected Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos 2017
£12.99, 50cl
Tokaji (pronounced Tok-eye) is a Hungarian sweet dessert wine made in a similar way to the sweet wine from France called Sauternes. Using over-ripe shrivelled grapes concentrates the remaining juice and so the sugars make sweet tasting wine – the sweetness levels being measured in Puttonyos. At 5 Puttonyos this version is not quite as sweet as Tokaji can get (6 is the top number) and the flavours of honeyed apricot and orange reflect this.

Fletcher’s 40 Year Old Tawny Port
£34.99 Online only
There are other Fletcher’s Ports available (LBV Port £9.99, LBV 2016 with Gift Box £8.99, Fine Ruby £6.49 and the 10 Year Old Tawny Port £10.99 which is promised but not showing online yet) but this 40 Year Old version is the most notable just for its age – which isn’t quite what you think. A Port with an age in years (10, 20, 30 or 40) is made of a blend of Ports (wine that’s been ‘fortified’ with brandy) with the age on the label being the average age of the wines – so some of the wine in the 40 Year Old is actually older than 40 years! Expect flavours of nuts, coffee and cinnamon.

Specially Selected Sparkling Australian Shiraz
£6.99 Available now
Yes, its back! Last seen some time in the 1990s the sparkling Shiraz has made a comeback. With flavours of cherries and chocolate it is a great match to chocolate – but let’s not forget the savoury. Its slightly sweet finish is a great foil to chilli hotness so try matching it to curry.

Specially Selected Lebanese Red 2019
£7.99 Available now
This Lebanese red is made from a blend of very flavourful grape varieties – Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault, Syrah and Carignan – which you’d expect to see growing in the south of France. Here the result is earthy blackberry and cherry flavours.

Specially Selected English Red
£9.99 Online only
Made in Staffordshire with nine different grape varieties, including Acolon which is a hardy German variety that is just starting to make an appearance despite being around since 1971. Light berry flavours.

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© Paula Goddard 2021