Given the recent furore over Barry O’Farrell accepting a $3000 bottle of wine (a 1959 Penfold’s Grange, to be precise), you might yourself be wondering about how to get the best wine for the best price. Also given that it’s unlikely that you’ll have a spare $3000 lying around, I’ve decided to review the four cheapest wines on offer at Aldi in the hope of discovering exactly how to avoid getting a bottle full of flavoured vinegar.
To get the four cheapest, I had to choose four different varieties of red wine. The reviews therefore don’t account for the difference between a Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet, etc. I should probably also point out that I also know nothing about wine.
Wine 1: Precious Earth Shiraz Merlot – $2.69
This wine is the cheapest on the list and, in a surprise to nobody, came in at dead last. It has no real redeeming features. It was quite sweet and not too awful at the start, but it does come with a foul aftertaste. Smooth while being drunk, but with a nasty burn. Probably avoid this wine unless making sangria.
Wine 2: Elmfield Shiraz Cabernet – $3.99
This wine was next on the list, but with a jump of a dollar and three cents over the Precious Earth. (That’s slightly more than 1/7th of a Medicare co-payment!) It’s a fairly nice wine that tastes sharp, but with a nice fruity flavour and no horrible aftertaste. A hint of spice involved, a bit like Christmas cake. Worth having seconds.
My housemate tasted it and said it tasted like it had scum on top, so there is that.
Wine 3: Elmfield Cabernet Merlot – $3.99
This wine, also an Elmfield, comes in at the same price at the Shiraz Cab. It is significantly worse.
The wine was described as having ‘plummy notes’ on the bottle, not one of which I could discern. It tasted pretty rough. Not worth it. Tasted a bit like fuel.
Wine 4: El Toro Macho Tempranillo – $4.99
This wine is the most expensive, but it does come from Spain! Also, this old woman in Aldi told me that this is the best for a wine/price ratio in the city.
It smelt a bit rubbery but was eminently drinkable. Tasted very dry but was overall pretty good, as is maybe to be expected from a nice Spanish wine.
Summary: Overall I’d give the award for Best Bad Wine to Wine no 2, the Elmfield Shiraz Cab. It’s a dollar cheaper than the Tempranillo which doesn’t taste noticeably better. Wines no 2 and 4 were definitely not awful and would make a nice occasional substitute for a box of the ol’ Penfold’s. Aldi has definitely done alright for itself with these two wines. I’d probably recommend these over the weird Aldi knock-off beers. The other two were pretty average. Steer clear of the Precious Earth; pay the extra $1.