While wine may have historically been a symbol of luxury, a good bottle doesn't always have to come at a high price. Wine drinkers who shop at discount grocery stores likely already know this, which is why some private label bottles at stores like Aldi and Costco end up earning cult followings. And if you're a fan of dessert wines, you're in luck: The latest grocery store wine to create some buzz is a Canadian ice wine that sells for just $15.
Aldi's Specially Selected Canadian Icewine Vidal is part of the discount store's latest collection of choice, high-quality wines, all of which retail for $15 or less. The ice wine has garnered attention on social media and from the press, with many raving about how surprisingly delicious it is, especially considering that a bottle of Canadian ice wine can easily go for $30 - $90. Aldi sold the 2020 vintage late last year, which was well-received, so it's little surprise that the 2021 vintage (the one in stores now) is also winning over fans.
The sweet wine is sold in a skinny, half-size bottle (375 mL rather than the standard 750 mL), which makes sense since ice wine is typically served in portions of 1.5-2 ounces, much smaller than the standard 5-ounce pour that's typical of most wines. But the volume is small because the flavor is big — this is definitely not your all-day, afternoon-by-the-pool wine.
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Frozen Grapes Make Sweet Wine
Ice wine is made from grapes that have frozen on the vine, which is why it typically comes from colder climates — such as this one from Aldi, which comes from the Niagara Falls area in Ontario, Canada. Freezing actually makes the grapes sweeter, hence ice wine being a dessert wine. Like most ice wines, Aldi's popular new release has a noticeably thick consistency, and this one pours a deep golden hue. The Canadian Icewine Vidal has strong fruity notes, and Aldi's product description specifically calls out peach, lemon, and toffee flavors. It's meant to be served chilled and though it's sweet, it's not at all sickly, offering a very well-balanced flavor experience.
If you're not already a wine enthusiast, wine labels can take some decoding to understand. On the front of the bottle, you'll notice a big seal that reads VQA. This stands for Vintners Quality Alliance, which is the Canadian wine authority that sets standards and labeling rules for wines grown in Ontario and British Columbia. (You may have heard of similar national and regional authorities in France and other big wine-producing countries.) And "vidal" refers to the kind of grape used -- Vidal blanc, a common base for Canadian ice wines.
Aldi suggests drinking the wine with "flavorful desserts." Try pairing it with something chocolatey to contrast the fruity flavors, or go for a peach pie or lemon tart to amplify them.
Aldi: Your New Favorite Wine And Liquor Store
You might not expect top-shelf quality from store-brand alcohol, but it's actually a pretty common phenomenon. Costco's Kirkland Signature Vodka is so roundly applauded that it regularly outperforms well-known brands in blind taste tests and some have even wondered if it's actually Grey Goose without the packaging (alas, it's not). Trader Joe's bourbon has earned high praise from critics, as has Aldi's gin. So it's fortunate, though not completely unexpected, that their wine shelves would contain hidden gems, too.
Private label products are just those that are sold under one of the store's own brands, often from the same manufacturers that produce mainstream brand-name products. So while we may not know exactly which vineyards or winemakers are behind the Icewine Vidal, it tracks that Aldi would source from producers who know what they're doing — and who probably sell their wine for much higher prices when under their own labels. So if you like sweet wines and spot the Icewine Vidal at your local Aldi, snatch it up while you can. It's not every day you find top-notch ice wine for the price of a sandwich.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.