Aldi tops festive taste tests

Discount retailer Aldi is among the best in this year’s annual Which? festive taste tests for red wine and Champagne, with own-brand tipples costing between £5.99 and £9.99 respectively.

Aldi’s Exquisite Collection Argentinian Malbec 2016, £5.99, was voted top by the Which? experts in a blind taste test for the best winter red wine. The panel agreed it was a “decent winter red” with “big red fruit flavours and rich tannins”.

While Piper Heidsieck Champagne Brut Non Vintage, £30, came out with the highest score in the Champagne blind taste test, Aldi’s Veuve Monsigny Champagne Brut, at just £9.99, came third ahead of major retailers Waitrose, Morrisons and Lidl. It also outscored the two most expensive major brands tested, Laurent-Perrier Brut (£38) and Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Ponsardin (£35).

In a separate survey of more than 2,000 Which? members, Aldi was voted the top supermarket for buying your turkey for the festive season. People who bought their turkey at Aldi ranked their bird’s taste the same as those who bought at Marks & Spencer, Waitrose or Morrisons, but independent shops and butchers came out top overall for taste.

Independent shops were voted the best place to buy your Christmas vegetables, with Lidl and Aldi following closely behind. Both supermarkets scored highly for value, but lost out on quality to independent stores and Marks & Spencer. Lidl and Aldi still beat major names Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco on quality, and matched or scored higher on taste. After independents, Lidl was also scored highly for sausages.

Richard Headland, Which? Editor, said:

“You don’t have to fork out a fortune for your Christmas tipple this year, with supermarket own-label products coming out above well-known more expensive brands. Discount retailers continue to provide good-quality festive produce at affordable prices.”

Turkey and all the trimmings, a good glass of fizz, smoked salmon, top cheeses and a perfect pudding to finish. Find the best of all these and more here.

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Notes to editors:

  • You can read the full tasting notes to find the Champagne and red wine to best suit your taste by following the links.

  • Supermarkets nominated an own-label or exclusive non-vintage Champagne costing £35 or less, and we included bestselling brands. Champagne test results:

  • Supermarkets were asked to nominate a good-value winter red wine from £5 to £8. Red wine test results:

  • Prices right as of 12th October 2016 for both red wine and champagne

  • Turkey ratings are based on a sample of 1,393 Which? members (March 2016 survey) who bought turkey for Christmas dinner.

  • Vegetable ratings are based on a sample of 1,896 Which? Members (March 2016 survey) who bought veg for Christmas dinner.

  • Sausage ratings are based on a sample of 1,526 Which? Members (March 2016 survey) who bought sausages for Christmas dinner.

  • Top five shops for turkey, vegetables and sausages:

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