Aldi Exquisite wine labelThe seven wines of Aldi’s premium Exquisite Collection knock spots of Tesco’s Finest range and come pretty close to ousting the Co-op’s Premium wine range off the top spot for fantastic flavours for fantastic value. So what’s stopping these wines of ‘distinctive styles’ being number one in the supermarket posh wine stakes?

They just don’t feel like a collection. Yes the wines all taste fantastic and look great (although there’s no unity in the bottle & label design) but their flavours are all so completely different that I’m not sure if I’m buying into subtle and sophisticated or rip roaring oomphiness.

Aldi Exquisite ShirazBalanced complexity can reveal itself through many different flavour matches in a wine – from lemon lime acidity balanced with creamy digestive biscuit (Exquisite French Sauvignon Blanc £4.99) to mocha coffee marzipan bitterness matched with tobacco astringency and black cherry succulence (Exquisite Australian Shiraz £5.99). Both these wines are intricately flavoured but are of two extremes – one shows subtle delicacy and the other Tango-smacking attention-seeking behaviour.

Both wines taste wonderful but when added to the rest of the ‘distinctive styles’ within the remainder of the collection, the whole lot comes across more of a ‘let everyone in the office chose their favourite wine’ selection. Which is fine but not terribly coherent.

On the plus side, all of these elegant wines are very reasonably priced between £4.99 and £6.99 – in fact if anything they are a tad under-priced. You’d be hard pressed to find similar wines at less than £8 from other High Street chains.

PG Aldi Exquisite Collection Review

Aldi Exquisite GaviThe Exquisite Collection Italian Gavi 2012


Melon, pear and almond aromas balanced with some sweet bubblegum. Light and refreshing flavours: almond, lemon and apple.

The Exquisite Collection Loire Sauvignon Blanc 2012


Powerful gooseberry aromas balanced with underlying lime flower and nuts. The flavour is lighter on the gooseberry than the aroma would lead you to expect. Mix that with lemon, lime and digestive biscuit and the whole lot is all very nice.

The Exquisite Collection Australian Chardonnay 2012


Daffodil and pineapple aroma with flavours of peach, pear and almond. Don’t drink too cool as you’ll lessen the impact. Complex.

The Exquisite Collection Australian Shiraz 2011


The aroma just leaps out of the glass at you – strawberries, raspberries, blackcurrant, blackberry and chocolate. And should you be up to tasting it as well then look out for all of the above plus marzipan, coffee, coconut and tobacco. Corr.

Aldi Exquisite MalbecThe Exquisite Collection Argentinean Malbec 2011


Tastes lighter than the aroma of tobacco, damson and concentrated blackcurrant would have you believe: plum, apple and blackberry with a tar edge.

The Exquisite Collection Beaujolais Fleurie 2010


Sweet flavours of cherry and raspberry ripple with an edge of black pepper to add a bit of grip.

The Exquisite Collection Australian Cabernet Sauvignon 2011


Oomphy flavours of dark coffee and creamy blackcurrant.

Related articles: Co-op Premium Wines: wines with the wow factor, Aldi wines review, Top Ten Wines For Under A Fiver, Aldi's Dante Pinot Grigio Spumante and more, Aldi's new wines reviewed

This article has also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on

wine glassesIf this week's MatureTimes column has inspired you to hold your own wine tasting then downwload my free wine tasting sheet and get started with these aroma-friendly and slurpable reds and white.

That's me!However tempting the wine label’s proclamation of ‘aromas of wild summer berries’ and ‘flavours of red fruits...with a refreshing finish’ my own senses found a smell reminiscent of rubbery elderberry and a smoky tart taste with a hint of chocolate – in fact the overwhelming impression of Tesco’s Sicilian Rosso (£3.99) was that it had been poured from the end of a very oxidised barrel. So who was right – me or the label?

cava bottle topCava - why wouldn't you want to drink lots of this Spanish sparkling wine that tastes better than many champagnes? It costs a lot less (supermarket own-label cavas can be got for as little as £5) and the enjoyable flavours can be relied upon year after year.