The results of the 34th Sydney International Wine Competition proved that a good quality wine doesn't necessarily have to cost more than $10 a bottle, as I pointed out in last week’s Weekend Warrior Wine Deals blog post. Amongst the 280 award winning wines this year, you’ll find two which are exclusively blended for Aldi, selling for below $7 a bottle.
The panel of 14 judges, including many Australian and international wine gurus tested more than 2000 wines from over 10 countries to select food friendly, quality wines. Riesling and Semillon wines seem to be the hit this year, with these varieties winning 8 out of the 23 trophies awarded. The star of the show was Coolangatta Estate’s 2006 vintage Estate Grown Semillon, winning three awards and announced to be the Best Wine of Competition.
What’s more intriguing though, is that one of the only two Tempranillos that made it into the finals was El Toro Macho - a Spanish variety only found on the shelves of Aldi and selling for $4.99 a bottle. This red took home a Blue Gold award, or the equivalent of a silver medal, beating a $35 Tempranillo in its category.
Another red especially blended for Aldi was the 2013 The Pond Cabernet Sauvignon. Priced at $6.99 a bottle, it was selected as one of the top 100 wines during the competition alongside the 2014 Margaret River Semillon Sauvignon Blanc (by A.C. Byrne & Co.) which is selling for $9.99 at Aldi. From the same winery and retailing for the same price, the 2014 McLaren Vale Shiraz won a bronze medal in its category, bringing Aldi’s award tally to 4. But that’s not the end of it.
If you cough up a bit over $10 (or $12.99 to be exact) you can pop down to your nearest Aldi for a bottle of the 2013 Tudor Central Victorian Shiraz, which won two trophies. These were The Mark De Havilland Memorial Trophy for "Best Red Table Wine of Competition", as well as the Sydney International Wine Competition Perpetual Trophy for "Best Lighter Bodies Dry Red Table Wine of Competition". According to the blindfolded judges, this Aldi red is better than the Wynns Black Label Coonawarra Shiraz and Yalumba’s Paradox Barossa Shiraz. By comparison, both of the latter mentioned wines are selling for over $30 a bottle online at stores such as Dan Murphy’s, Vintage Cellars, First Choice Liquor, etc.
Looking at the winner of the Best Sparkling Wine, it seems like you don’t have to spend more than $30 a bottle to celebrate Christmas and New Year with style. You can pick up the now award winning Monsignor Premier Cru at Aldi for $29.99.
So overall, Aldi took home 6 trophies, which shows that affordably priced wine can in some cases offer more quality than a much more expensive option. No doubt this will be an eye-opener for many with the results of the 2015 Sydney International Wine Competition likely to encourage many wine lovers out there not to base their choice of poison solely on the label or price tag.
If you would like to try all the 2015 competition’s award winners, you can purchase tickets to the exhibitions, which will be held on Saturday, the 7th of February 2015 at the Menzies Hotel (Carrington Street Sydney CBD). Tickets for the morning session (10am to 12.30pm) are priced at $44 and for $55 you can attend the afternoon session which starts at 2pm also lasting 2 and a half hours, finishing at 4.30pm.