The Irish wing of supermarket Lidl kicked off their Valentine’s Wine Sale on Monday 11th February. Like their French and Italian wine sales which I have covered previously, these events aren’t price reduction but rather the introduction of a number of wines for a limited time, usually until such time as the finite stocks run out.
The Valentine’s range consists of five sparkling, eleven white and eleven red; the vast majority are Italian with a sprinkling of new world representatives from the USA, Canada, South Africa and Chile. Below I review a sparkling and a white from
Disclosure: both wines kindly supplied as samples, opinions remain my own
Gewürztraminer Südtirol / Alto Adige 2017 (14.0%, RRP €12.99 at Lidl)
If you aren’t familiar with the geopolitical landscape of northern Italy then this wine might be a touch confusing, but in reality it makes perfect sense. Alto Adige is the Italian name for the Alpine province which borders Austria – and was indeed in Austria (and predecessor entities) from the 9th century until 1919. The German name Südtirol makes perfect sense when we consider that the Austrian state immediately north of it is Tirol, divided into Nordtirol and Osttirol.
One of the municipalities in Alto Adige/Südtirol is Tramin, the birthplace of the Traminer grape (aka Savagnin) which mutated to become Gewürztraminer – the grape we have here.
Aroma-wise, this shows rose and elderflower with a suggestion of sweetness, and yes there is a little Turkish Delight if you go looking for it, though the nose isn’t overblown compared to many (phew!) The palate is surprisingly dry, though not when the abv of 14.0% is taken into account. There’s plenty of texture and soft stone fruit; in fact, this wine is not a million miles away from a white Rhône blend.
My preferences when it comes to Gewurz are off-dry or sweeter, so this isn’t my favoured style. However, for those who prefer a dry style this is well worth a try.
Nure Moscato d’Asti 2017 (5.5 %, RRP €11.99 at Lidl)
Piedmontese wine is best known for the Nebbiolo-based Barolo and Barbaresco plus supporting acts Barbera and Dolcetto, but the Muscat-based sparklers Asti (Spumanti) and Moscato d’Asti also show a lot of character. It’s the latter we have here, with very low alcohol and lots of sweetness. In Piedmont it’s often drunk as a palate-cleanser after savoury food and then with dessert. Of course Muscat is one of the few varieties that smell or taste of grapes, but there’s also a spiciness or muskiness to it. When well made there is acidity to balance the sweetness, and that makes this example absolutely delicious! It’s not the most complex Moscato d’Asti I’ve tried but it’s fantastic value for money and guaranteed to put a smile on your face.