MOVIES & BOOZE: Fancy a drink this weekend?

Martin Moran looks at three top quality discount wines...

Wine expert Martin Moran joins Sean Moncrieff to discuss the merits of three bottles from Aldi...

‘Aldi boss admits discount chain uses cheap wine to lure middle-class shoppers to discount supermarkets’ ran the headline earlier this week in the Daily Mail.

That was about the UK but it is of course also true of Ireland where we have a very similar but not identical range of wines on offer from Aldi. It’s hardly a unique tactic as Lidl use it too and it clearly works as between them they have a 22.3% market share of the Irish grocery market. If they want to grow they’ll need more middle class customers, so they work hard on their wines and have regular special sales.

Aldi put a lot of effort into their wine range and while it’s not all wonderful, overall I think they generally do a better job than rivals Lidl, but who also have their high points. Aldi’s core wine range has won many plaudits in recent years including many gold and silver medals at competitions like the International Wine Challenge and the Decanter World Wine Awards competitions. I’m a particular fan or their Australian Semillon, their Clare Riesling and Swartland Shiraz.

To keep the pressure on they have periodic wine promotions and starting August 21th they have about 25 new wines from €7.99 to €12.99 available on a limited time basis, as in when they’re gone they’re gone. That last bit is a shame as there are some beauties.

You normally have to search the small print on the back to find out who has made the wine but a couple of the best wines in the sale are branded on the front label. There’s a single vineyard Grüner Veltliner from the highly regarded Austrian estate Domaine Wachau at just €8.99. It should be double that. In the reds they have a Yarra Valley Pinot Noir from top producer De Bortoli at €10.99. It’s very similar to their Windy Peak range and that retails for about €17-18, so it’s a serious bargain.

A few others that caught my eye include Le Baume Viognier, €12.99 and Punta de Lobas Casablanca Sauvignon Blanc, €9.99, for the whites and for the reds the IWC silver medal winning Gloria Douro red, €8.99 and the frankly fabulous Nikau Point Hawkes Bay Syrah at €9.99 that should be double that.

Wines tasted on the Show

Leaf Plucker Sauvignon Blanc 2016, Western Cape, €9.99
Very crunchy zingy fresh lime and gooseberry fruit style.

Le Baume Viognier Vin de Pays d’Oc 2015, €12.99
Really classy Viognier with plenty of pear and peach fruit and rich palate.

De Bortoli GS Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley 2015, €10.99.
Elegant modern Pinot, made with partial whole bunch and aged in French barrels, techniques usually used on much more expensive wines, results in beautiful raspberry and cherry fruit with a touch of spice and silky tannins.

Martin Moran MW, Twitter: @winerepublic