The Aldi/Lidl showdown, a blind tasting of pairs of generic wines from both stores, took place in Birmingham and revealed some interesting points.
Lots of people were curious about the tasting emailing me their disappointment at not being able to attend for whatever reason, something they don’t usually bother to do, and more since the tasting asking to know the results.
The results, which are shown below with the winning win in each pair being underlined (the Barolo round was a draw) with the Aldi wine first, are not really a true reflection in the same way that a tennis match can be won by a tie break in each set. Lidl won 5 – 2 but had we scored by proportional representation, as it were, the match would have been more closely contested.
Champagne Veuve Monsigny Brut £9.99 v. Champagne Comte de Senneval Brut £9.99
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Freeman’s Bay 2014 £5.89 v. New Zealand Sauvignon Cimarosa Marlborough 2013 £5.89
Mâcon Chardonnay 2013 £6.99 v. Mâcon Blanc Villages La Belle Blonde 2013 £7.49
Tempranillo – Toro Loco 2013 Utiel Requena 2013 £3.79 v. Tempranillo – Libertario La Mancha 2013 £3.79
Argentine Malbec Uco Valley 2013 £5.99 v. Argentine Malbec Mendoza 2014 £5.99
Rioja Reserva Baron Amarillo 2008 £5.99 v. Rioja Reserva Cepa Lebrel 2009 £5.99
Médoc Cru Bourgeois Château Chantemerle 2011 £9.99 v. Médoc Cru Bourgeois Château Lassus 2011 £7.99
Barolo Cantata 2010 £9.99 v. Barolo 2010 £9.99
BYWine’s very own Mr Lidl, Richard Bampfield MW, also tasted the wines blind but was quietly confident that Lidl would prevail, which indeed it did. So no #lidlsurprises for him. In case you don’t know, Richard is employed by Lidl to score the wines they have selected and you will see his suspiciously Germanic photo peering down at you as you make your purchases in-store. You will also find him in this German ad .
It seems that the interest in these two stores and their wine sales is that consumers know that they are inexpensive, and we Brits do so love a bargain, but want to know if they are also actually any good. So, the wines are good value in that you couldn’t really be disappointed by any of these wines taking into account what you would have paid for them. If you want to pay £3.79 for a wine then these two are palatable. There are better Marlborough Sauvingon’s on the market, of course, but few at £5.89. If there is such a thing as everyday Champagne then Veuve Monsigny at £11.99 and often at £9.99, is it. And the quality is such that I wouldn’t mind drinking it everyday – though it might get a bit boring and, in fact, my wine of the night was Aldi’s Château Chantemerle 2011, a Cru Bourgeois from Bordeaux. Richard’s was Lidl’s Barolo 2010. We were very both impressed with these two wines.
As a bonus, Richard had brought along a couple of wines which he has rated highly and which will be available from Lidl in a couple of months – a ripe, intense, juicy Douro from Portugal and a deliciously sweet, but not too sweet, Cadillac from Bordeaux.
Look out for these and also Lidl’s one off offers which BYWine members are notified of the minute they are released as they tend not to last long, and also Aldi’s soon to be launched premium range.
This is a tasting I think we will have to do annually, not least so that we can enjoy Aldi’s delicious Crémant du Jura again as our starter wine – still one of the best value sparkling wines around.