ALDI is the well known German supermarket chain which has over 400 stores in the eastern states of Australia.
It opened its first four stores in Adelaide, South Australia, last month and has plans for up to fifty in South Australia and Western Australia.
There is one in our town.
They are well known for cheap grocery prices and have carved out a 12% market share in that sector. However they have predominantly private brand products and our experience is, apart from commodities, quality can be variable.
They also sell wine, beer and spirits.
Some wine is extremely cheap; down to $4 bottle. They source from all over the world but again, despite coming from recognized regions and having fancy names, they are 'Made for ALDI'.
This is not a unique situation as the other two major supermarket chains, Coles and Woolworths, have a myriad of own brands too. Rather than labeling these wines “Woolworths Shiraz” or “Coles Chardonnay”, the wines look like they are a winery owned brands.
Details of this perceived 'deception' are here.
However we have found a few Coles branded wines to our liking but they are certainly not as cheap as ALDI's.
Friends have occasionally brought bottles of ALDI wine for dinners and they have been fine. Some have even won medals at wine shows.
So we thought we would buy a selection and give them 'a go'.
We decided that we should buy by region and select its best known varietal.
Mosel (Germany) Riesling $10
Rioja (Spain) Tempranillo $10
Chianti (Italy) Sangiovese $10
Loire (France) Sauvignon Blanc $8
Central Otago (New Zealand) Pinot Noir $15
Nelson (New Zealand) Pinot Gris $8
Apart from the Pinot Noir the price levels are about half of what we would normally pay for an every day wine. But I just couldn't bring myself to try any of the $4 selection.
We shall do some serious tastings over the next few weeks.
Results will be posted in due course.