RAISE A GLASS

Burton Mail - - Food & Drink - WITH JANE CLARE

THOSE wine la­bels are key to our buy­ing habits and Aldi has hit on a canny mar­ket­ing idea to draw us in to a new range of wines.

If you see “chicken” or “lamb” or “pizza” shout­ing at you in ital­ics from the re­tailer’s wine aisles it is be­cause the “this loves” range hooks into our de­sire to choose the best wine to go with food.

It’s a clever lit­tle ploy which will see six new wines in­tro­duced by the end of this month. The wines (all £4.99) are three whites – chardon­nay, chenin blanc, pinot gri­gio – and three reds – san­giovese, mal­bec-shi­raz and monas­trell-petit ver­dot.

I like it when a food gauntlet is thrown down and couldn’t re­sist a lit­tle culi­nary play­ful­ness.

I cooked pizza and poured “this san­giovese loves pizza” (12.5% abv) and, for less than a fiver, I thought it was a happy lit­tle wine. I dis­agree with the la­bel de­scrip­tion “richly full bod­ied” as it is more light bod­ied and fruity but that aside, the cherry flavour notes and de­cent acid­ity said “hey” to my pep­per­oni pizza and it said “hey” back.

I made a hot pot and shared a bot­tle of “this monas­trell petit ver­dot loves lamb” (13% abv)

with chums, who agreed this wine did in­deed love lamb.

It has a com­bi­na­tion of spice, black fruits, herbs and a flicker of vi­o­let which made this wine my favourite of the range. (Say­ing that, I’ve still to track down the “steak-lov­ing” mal­bec.)

I wasn’t as taken with the three whites, the “this chardon­nay loves chicken” (12.5% abv) be­ing

the best pick.

I’d fried chicken thighs in Moroc­can spices with chilli and pep­pers and folded in some cous­cous; per­haps that’s not the chicken theme Aldi had in mind, but the light fruiti­ness of the chardon­nay (ap­ples and cit­rus) cut through the spice and was a re­fresh­ing coun­ter­bal­ance.

You know I’m not a lover of pinot gri­gio (which “loves fish”)

and it was, well, it was OK-ish; and the chenin blanc which “loves

fish and chips” was an­other so-so wine, light on flavour, fruit and the sat­is­fac­tion fac­tor.

Over­all though, not bad.

ALSO IN MY GLASS …

THE words “rhubarb” and “gin” com­bined on a la­bel are pretty much guar­an­teed to make me sit up and take no­tice.

I’m told Oc­to­ber is Rhubarb Month, so I de­cided it was rude not to have a lit­tle sip or two of Jaw­box Rhubarb and Gin­ger Gin Liqueur

(RRP £25, for 70cl from sev­eral on­line re­tail­ers in­clud­ing Ama­zon, Ocado, mas­terof­malt.com, the­whiskyex­change.com).

It is cre­ated in Belfast at the home of Jaw­box Small Batch Gin, which is at the heart of the liqueur, and is a pretty baby-blush colour. The sweet­ness of rhubarb on the nose is coun­tered by a warm­ing spice of gin­ger and the flavours com­bined hap­pily.

The team from Jaw­box sug­gests you can top up a small pour with prosecco or gin­ger ale. There’s a sis­ter drink, Jaw­box Pineap­ple & Gin­ger Liqueur

(same price and stock­ists, left) which has pineap­ple on the nose; it was a bit syrupy and too sweet for my taste.

JANE is a mem­ber of the Cir­cle of Wine Writ­ers. Find her on so­cial me­dia and on­line as One Foot in the Grapes.

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