Want to stock up on award-winning bottles without blowing the budget? Join the oenophiles in the aisles of Aldi and Lidl...
Rather than popping into your local off-licence to pick up a bottle of malbec for Christmas dinner, take note of respected wine writers and instead fill your basket with Aldi and Lidl’s own-brand finest.
“Industry titans are hugely impressed with their offerings,” says Stylist’s wine expert Jane Parkinson. “The interest in their ranges has never been stronger.”
The Observer’s wine columnist David Williams agrees: “They have a knack of finding decent wines from classic areas at significantly better prices than elsewhere.”
They’ve also brought in the big guns to help them up the ante. “Lidl now uses respected Masters of Wine as consultants,” explains Parkinson. And just last week, Aldi scooped 23 medals (including four gold) at the International Wine Challenge 2016; further proof of the experts’ approval.
Here, Parkinson shares her top picks from each store – chin-chin:
Crémant de Jura Chardonnay 2012, £7.29
Fantastic value dry and fruity French fizz, it comes in a smart bottle that makes it look far more expensive than it actually is.
The Exquisite Collection Clare Valley Riesling 2014, £6.99
Made by renowned Australian producer Taylors and with tangy lime flavours and plenty of ripe pear crunch, it’s bone dry, refreshing and zesty.
Vignobles Rousselet Malbec, £4.39
A hearty French malbec that was made for winter stews, it has the typical floral perfume with robust liquorice and black fruit flavours.
Premier Cru Brut Champagne NV, £16.99
Tasting of toasted nuts and honey, it’s an easy-drinking dry champagne at a keen party-friendly price.
Cimarosa Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2013, £5.89
A bargain from NZ made by respected producers Yealands, it’s a balance of pretty elderflower and tropical passionfruit.
Chateau de la Riviere Fronsac 2008, £12.99
This eight-year-old claret will impress classic wine drinkers this festive season with its smooth chocolate and blackcurrant flavours.
Words: Lucy Frith