Uncovering inexpensive gems with the monthly Lidl Discovery Collection...
Rejoice Reverse Wine Snobs! Lidl, the European grocery experience is expanding rapidly in the U.S. and it's brought with it a whole new world of affordable wine.
This post is sponsored by Lidl.
As all experienced wine drinkers know, when your wine focus is the under-$20 category having top notch retailers in your area makes all the difference in the world. The reason for this is, of course, twofold -- selection and pricing. Since there's limited space on shelves selection is key. A store filled with bad wines isn't much help no matter how good their pricing. And conversely, good pricing can open up a much bigger selection under $20. That's why we're always happy to introduce our readers to better retail options for buying their wine. And one of the newest options in the U.S. is Lidl.
If you're not familiar with Lidl you will be soon. Having just opened up their first stores in the southeast a few months ago they are on track to have up to 100 stores by next year. And with over 10,000 stores operating in 28 countries you can be assured they are not stopping there. With a model similar to Trader Joe's that focuses on bringing in only the best private label products, they bring the clout and the business model to offer extremely low pricing. Lucky for us, that includes their wine selection! (Their $10 house sparkling wine was just named one of the best in the world by the International Wine & Spirits Competition.)
Of particular interest to us is their monthly Wine Discovery Collection in conjunction with Master of Wine Adam Lapierre. Each month they highlight 6-8 exceptional wines intended to introduce consumers to wines and categories of wine they might not normally consider. Here's how Adam described the program to me:
The idea behind the project is to offer a unique selection of wines that will allow Lidl shoppers to expand their wine-drinking horizons beyond what they might normally expect to find on the shelves of a grocery store. We identify a focus for the month and then I work to source wines that offer a broad tasting experience within that focus - always with an eye toward finding the absolute best quality wines available for the price. Since the focus changes monthly, we only purchase fixed quantities of each wine - they're only available while supplies last.
Previous months have focused on Rosé wines and Summer Whites featuring some of our favorite under-appreciated regions and varieties like Vinho Verde and Gruner Veltliner as well as unexpected wines like a sweet Muscadine from North Carolina and a dry Lambrusco rosé. With many of the wines selling out in a matter of days, the collections have been a huge hit with consumers.
This brings us to September and the current Discovery Collection which focuses on South African wines. We're particularly excited about this as we love wine from South Africa but finding much under $20 can be challenging. We had a chance to try most of the 7 wines in this month's collection and came away extremely impressed, both by the breadth and depth of what is offered (sparkling pinotage!) but also the extremely low prices starting at just $5.99 for several of the wines and topping out at just $12.99. According to Adam, that's exactly what they are aiming for:
The idea behind September's focus is to showcase the wines of South Africa, giving our customers an opportunity to taste wines from a broad range of styles, grape varieties and wine regions. We've got a white and red blend from famed South African Winemaker Adi Badenhorst, Chardonnay and Cabernet from Stellenbosch, Shiraz from Franschoek, Chenin Blanc from Citrusdal and a really unique Sparkling Pinotage to add something interesting to the mix!
We have reviews of a couple of our favorites coming soon but in the meantime if you are lucky enough to have a Lidl near you, here are the wines you'll want to make sure to get ahold of as quickly as you can.
- 2016 Jakkals Red Blend - $5.99
- 2016 Jakkals White Blend - $5.99
- Herminoir Sparkling Pinotage (NV) - $6.99
- 2015 Fat Barrel Stellenbosch Chardonnay - $9.99
- 2013 Fat Barrel Stellenbosch Cabernet Sauvignon - $9.99
- 2014 Alee Bleue Shiraz - $11.99
- 2016 Cederberg Chenin Blanc - $12.99
This post is sponsored by Lidl.