Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Raise a Glass

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Raise a Glass

Article excerpt

Byline: with Jane Clare

with Jane Clare MANY of my friends say that Aldi wines have changed their lives. Friday nights begin with a "rush to the shops" to stock up for the weekend.

Mike James, Aldi's wine buyer, since 2010, has overseen the team which has made Aldi a must-go destination for reliable, affordable wines.

I spoke to Mike, and asked what gave him the "stop and think" moment that began to drive his wine passion? He says: "It was at the caves of Domaine Filliatreau in the Loire.

"As soon as I smelled and tasted their wonderful cabernet franc wines, I had an instant flashback to my first visit, which was 20 years earlier.

"It really made me contemplate the provenance, uniqueness, typicity, drama and passion that are encapsulated by well-made wines."

Mike clearly loves the role he has in bringing new wines to people like you and me.

He says: "Wine is there to be enjoyed, and most definitely not to be frightened about. Everyone has a palate. Everyone knows what styles they like. There are no right or wrong answers."

|Collection Pinot " He says Aldi strives to shift elitist misconceptions about wines.

There's no better example of that, than Aldi's limited Lot range.

Four wines were released; a Pezenas made with the excellent French winemaker Jean-Claude Mas, a Tasmanian chardonnay; a Leyda Chilean sauvignon blanc (this was stunning!!) and a malbec cabernet blend.

All were PS9.99 and released in limited batches of 25,000 - 30,000 bottles from spring to the end of May.

I snapped up quite a few myself, with several after-work detours to make a hole in the "limited batch". Most have sold out but there is still a good stock of the malbec cabernet.

Was this a brave move for Aldi? Mike says: "The continued success of The Exquisite Collection shows that Aldi shoppers aren't afraid to pay slightly more for great quality products. …

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