Friday, December 16, 2011

Cheap Wine that Doesn’t Taste Cheap

When I started buying our staple food at Aldi, the quality and type of food we ate increased and our food bill decreased.  For the first time in my life, I could buy frozen wild caught salmon fillets at Aldi for the same price as (and sometimes less) frozen pollack fillets at Meijer.

Whole wheat pasta, dried fruit and nuts, organic GMO free soy milk, organic blue corn chips, and Havarti cheese with dill are also part of our regular diet thanks to Aldi’s low prices.

In all of the years I shopped Aldi, there’s only one thing I bought that I didn’t like - Aldi’s Winking Owl Merlot. It wasn’t too bad for a $2.69 bottle of wine and at that price, I shouldn’t expect a whole lot. However, the experience made me unfairly write off buying wine at Aldi ever again.

That was a mistake.


Aldi and Mom Central asked me to reconsider Aldi wine because six Aldi wines won medals in the 2011 World Value Wine Competition. They also asked me to shop and make a splash out holiday dinner. The first part gave me pause but the second part is second nature to me. Husband and I tried Aldi’s bacon-wrapped beef filets ($1.89) for my birthday dinner and they didn’t disappoint.

OK, Aldi try to change my mind about your wine.

Husband and I decided to stick with award winning wines. The first bottle we opened was the Walker Napa Valley Red Wine ($8.99). When we drink wine, we usually go with a Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. The Walker Napa Valley Red Wine is the best of both worlds because it is blend of Merlot, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. I’m surprised that this wine tasted more like a fourteen dollar bottle of wine than an eight dollar bottle of wine.  It gave me hope for the other bottles of wine we bought.



We switched to a white with the Chaza Moscato ($5.99.) It’s a light wine and on the sweet side. You can definitely taste the pear, apricot, and sweet peach flavors the tasting notes describe. I like my white wines on the sweet side and Chaza Moscato delivered but wasn’t overpoweringly sweet.


We paired these wines with a cheese course of edenVale Brie ($2.99) and Savoritz Entertainment Crackers ($2.49.) I didn’t think I’d buy the crackers but when I read that they didn’t contain hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup, they passed the ingredient test and made it into the cart.



For dinner, Husband made King Crab Legs, a seasonal purchase that was originally priced at $14.99 and  marked down to $6.99.

Yummers! 

We paired the impulse purchase crab legs with our plan of making shrimp scampi with the Medium Shrimp ($3.99), Fresh Spinach ($1.69) and served over Fit and Active Whole Wheat Spaghetti ($.99.)

We decided to forgo the desserts Aldi suggested (Grandessa Signature Mini Eclairs $3.99, Belmond Premium Cheesecake Sampler $9.99, or Moser Roth Fine Truffles $2.49.) I’m trying to get a better handle on my lactose intolerance and already made an exception for the brie, because it’s one of my favorite cheeses.

Instead of dessert, we bought a lovely, lean, and tender Corned Beef Brisket ($10.49) to eat the following night and pair with the last two bottles of wine we wanted to try the Villa Malizia Pinot Grigio ($5.99) and the Sovinello Private Collection Pinot Noir ($5.99.)

The Villa Malizia Pinot Grigio which is another white. Again, it is a light white wine with peach and pear flavors. It is pleasing but not as sweet as the Chaza Moscato, which is the type of white wine Husband prefers. Husband said he enjoyed both whites, but is more inclined to buy the Villa Malizia Pinot Grigio over the Chaza Moscato while I would do the opposite.


Lastly, we tasted the Sovinello Private Collection Pinot Noir. It is a full bodied red and my favorite of the four wines we tasted. I’m definitely buying this wine again. Nice job Aldi, you completely changed my mind about your wine.



Disclosure:I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of ALDI and received a gift certificate to facilitate my review.

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