Sunday, December 21, 2008

A stylish sweetie and a rough Spanish red

More feedback from my recent shopping trip to Aldi. A good buy, a bad buy and a (slightly) corked bottle.

Good news first. For £5.99 you can procure yourself a stylish looking bottle of Eiswein (left in the picture on the right) that would look great on any Christmas table and stand up to both the Christmas pud and the Stilton. It's produced under the St Amandus label in the Rheinhessen region of Germany and has a lovely, delicate grapey flavour (it's only 9%). Eiswein, which is made from naturally or artificially frozen grapes, is normally far more expensive than this - and normally more intense and syrupy - but for the price it's an excellent buy. RATING: ***

Disappointingly the Beerenauslese in the same range was corked but it tasted slightly weedy by comparison, unsurprising at £3.99.* RATING: ** (if it wasn't corked)

I also wouldn't buy the 2004 Vina Decana Crianza from Utiel Requena again, despite the fact that it's only £2.99 and packaged like a Rioja. It's thin and slightly sharp with not enough fruit to support the oak. Even with food (an easy-to-match shepherds' pie) it tasted a bit rough. A bargain's not a bargain unless it's actually enjoyable to drink. RATING: no score

* For those of you who don't know what to do if a wine is corked the best thing is to taste a small sip first to check it's OK rather than pouring out wine for everyone then stopper the bottle if it's faulty and take it back to the shop as soon as possible together with the receipt. The shop should exchange it without question.

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