Supermarket wine is increasingly becoming more diverse, interesting and unique, all while maintaining its lower price range. This is largely due to brands investing in their wine offerings, and it's clearly working - the wine world is sitting up and paying attention as the supermarkets rake in award after award. All of this has made it much easier for us to pop into out local and pick up an excellent bottle of wine. But there's always a lot to chose from and sometimes it's hard to tell what will be perfect for your palate and your pocket. Ahead of Aldi's wine pop-up in BOXPARK during London Wine Week they've offered us some brilliant advice.
One thing we forgot to ask is how to get a job as one of their world-travelling wine tasters...ops! #dreamjob
DrinkUp.London: How does Aldi select which wines to stock?
Aldi: "Aldi’s wine buying team travels the world, tasting, testing and forging close relationships with suppliers, giving customers the very best quality at the very best prices. Our core philosophy is to offer high quality products at everyday low prices that shoppers can trust and all of Aldi’s wines are own label, and are sourced specifically for the UK market.
We work hard to offer customers products that are representative of their region of origin, and deliver on both taste and value - within a refined range. Furthermore, to ensure there is always something new and exciting to offer customers, the range is supplemented by additional, limited-edition lines (‘Specialbuys’) at pertinent times of the year.
As well as keeping the range fresh for customers, this strategy also ensures that Aldi’s wines are sold when they are at their freshest to ensure customers are always provided with the best possible quality."
DrinkUp.London: How diverse is the range that consumers should expect to find in the supermarket?
Aldi: "Aldi believes there is a drink out there to suit every budget, every occasion and every palate. Whether a fan of red, white, fizz or rosé, wine lovers can be sure they’ll find what they’re looking for either in store or online. Aldi has 117 different wines on offer, with a broad range available online, including popular ranges such as The Exquisite Collection, Lot Series and Venturer Series as well as specially selected mixed cases. Aldi collaborates with some of the best winemakers in the industry, sourcing excellent quality wines from various regions in several countries around the globe."
DrinkUp.London: What information should consumers come equipped with before buying wine and how do you help consumers once they’re standing in the aisles?
Aldi:"Of course one of the most beneficial things to do is ‘try before you buy’, which is why Aldi’s dedicated wine tasting store in Shoreditch BOXPARK is a fantastic opportunity for wine lovers to get a whiff (and taste) of Aldi’s online wine offering. In addition to this, consumers should have a relatively good idea of what type of wine they are after before purchasing – is it for a special occasion, or a specific meal that they have planned for example.
The Aldi eCommerce site is a great tool for wine enthusiasts and novices alike to browse award-winning wines via colour, with every wine marked with a description, tasting notes and often a food match to assist customers in making choices. In-store products are merchandised according to price (lowest to highest) both vertically and laterally on shelves, with the relevant award logos visible to demonstrate the calibre of wines available."
DrinkUp.London: Is it important to have familiar grapes and countries on display?
Aldi: "Yes, if Aldi has wines from familiar grapes and countries which consumers enjoy, they are much more likely to try something new in the future. For example, Aldi originally introduced The Exquisite Collection in November 2012, to expand our customer base and offer existing customers the opportunity to ‘trade-up’. Initially, the Exquisite Collection consisted of 7 wines - 4 red and 3 white - all well-known varietals, including a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Malbec, and from well-known areas such as Fleurie and Gavi. As consumer confidence grew, we were able to introduce unusual styles to the range including a Valpolicella Ripasso and Rias Baixas Albarino - opening up the world of wine to both existing and new customers. The new lines saw immediate customer pick-up and strong sales performance from the off."
DrinkUp.London: Are there any stand out wines which Aldi carry year-round which we should all try?
Aldi: Yes, here's just a few we'd recommend:
Crémant du Jura
Case of 6: £44.94 / Bottle: £7.49
Notes: Fantastically crisp and elegant with green apples, perfect acidity and persistent bubbles.
Awards: Bronze medal IWC 2016, Gold IWSC Award (2015); Silver IWC Award (2015); Bronze Decanter World of Wine Award (2015)
Perfect food match: Seafood.
The Exquisite Collection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
Case of 6: £47.94 / Bottle £7.99
Notes: Complex aromas of white stone fruits and blackcurrant leaf give way to flavours of lime-drizzled nectarine and an intriguingly soft texture, with a long and thoughtful finish.
Awards: Gold IWC Award (2016), Decanter World Wine Awards Silver medal, IWC Great Value Awards - Great Value White between £7 and £12.
Perfect food match: Aperitif, or summer salads and seafood.
The Exquisite Collection Clare Valley Riesling
Case of 6: £41.94 / Bottle £6.99
Notes: An exceptional dry Riesling showing a characteristic steeliness to the green apple, lime and grapefruit notes. Citrus softens to subtle tangerine and the refreshing minerality creates a sustained and mouth-watering finish.
Awards: Silver medal IWC 2016, Bronze medal Decanter World Wine Awards 2016, Gold IWC Award (2015), Bronze Decanter Award (2015), Silver IWSC Award (2015), Best Value White Wine of the Year – IWC Awards (2015)
Perfect food match: Seafood, mild Chinese and Thai dishes, or salads
DrinkUp.London: To what extent should we disregard discounts when trying to find a great bottle of wine?
Aldi: "Aldi doesn’t rely on promotions or buy one get one free (BOGOF) deals, shoppers know they can trust Aldi to give them what they want – straight forward pricing that will truly save them money. Aldi’s products are therefore priced in a simple and honest way, and don’t run once off promotions that are often misleading and based on inflated prices that never really existed."