RAISE A GLASS
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.