Didn't you know? Lidl has some amazing wines at bargain prices. Here are Lidl's best tipples...

The discount retailer is wooing the middle class with wines including Château Margaux and Saint-Émilion Grand-Cru

Amid the hype surrounding Aldi’s annual results last week, you may have forgotten its big cousin, Lidl. But forget at your peril, because as the nights draw in and we abandon all fitness regimes in favour of Terry’s Chocolate Orange and Googlebox, you’ll need some decent plonk to warm your cockles. And Lidl has the answer.

Last month the discount retailer announced its purchase of 5% of Bordeaux’s bottles. Yes, 5% – and now it’s selling on the wines at some spectacular prices. And although Lidl claim that none of the wines are loss leaders, they’re very open in admitting that their strategy is to attract a new, more affluent shopper into the store. Someone a bit like you, say.

According to Cyrus Tchahardehi – co-founder of home wine tasting company, Vinoa.co.uk – Lidl’s venture into fine wines is set to have a major impact on the off-trade for wine (that’s retailors and off licenses, as opposed to the on-trade which is bars, clubs and pubs). “They have a small wine offering, but it’s a damn good one,” says Tchahardehi. “Per unit of wine it’s a better offering than any of their competitors, bar Waitrose maybe.”

Lidl supermarket sign

According to Tchahardehi, Lidl’s bold move into fine wine could be a “game changer” for the wine industry – one that could even reduce the amount of deep discounting (where supermarkets make prices artificially high in order to discount them after 28 days) that takes place.

“Everything is faked on the supermarket shelves, so you tend to forget what real prices could be,” he says. 

So, of Lidl’s new wine collection, which five should we be taking home?

Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence, Nuit de Provence, 2013, £5.99

Tchahardehi’s verdict: “Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence is a great place for rosé, the rosés made here are light and dry. This is a great aperitif wine, the perfect drink for the last summer days – and at this price, you really can’t go wrong!”  

Margaux AOC, Chevalier de Lascombes, 2011, £18.99

Tchahardehi’s verdict: “Go and buy a bottle right now. If you don’t drink it, give it to someone who will – because this is a great bargain. Although 2011 wasn’t a great vintage, this wine still has a great aging potential. Pop it in your cellar and it should be drinking very well in 10 to 12 years.”

Haut-Medoc AOC, Cru Bourgeois, Chateau Laborde, 2011, £8.99

Tchahardehi’s verdict: “Wine consumption of Bordeaux has gone down in Britain, so supermarkets have reduced their range drastically. This means it’s difficult to say if you’d find this wine much cheaper elsewhere, but it’s certainly very competitively priced.”

Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé AOC, Château la Tour du Pun Figeac, 2006, £21.99

Tchahardehi’s verdict: “It’s difficult to find old wine like this. Somebody’s had to pay the price of keeping that wine so we’re seeing less and less older wines which is a sad thing. Here Lidl is offering a very interesting wine, and at just over £20 it might not seem cheap, but it’s worth it for people who want to discover old wine – you don’t get too many opportunities and it’s a very different, interesting wine.”

Hautes-Côtes de Beaune AOP P. de Marcilly, 2011, £7.99

Tchahardehi’s verdict: “You can’t say no to an oak-aged aged Hautes-Côtes de Beaune for this price, it’s a great opportunity. This wine should have good acidity, but it doesn’t have the fruit that’s necessary to age so it’s not an age potential wine.”

Follow me on Twitter @bex_hobson

 

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