Aldi's £5.99 orange wine

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Simon Woolf, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. So Aldi seems to have caused a bit of a stir with their newly released "orange natural wine"...
    I was curious about who was making it, and how on earth they can do it for such a low price.

    It turns out it's made by Cramele Recas, one of Romania's largest wineries, and owned by a Brit to boot. it *is* genuinely a natural wine, at least inasmuch as its spontaneous fermentation, no added sulphur, unfiltered, etc.

    It also seems that its a loss-leader for Aldi. The winery confirmed they've got a decent margin on it, but Aldi must be selling it at close to cost-price. We can speculate on the ethics of these kinds of promotion, but it's certainly worked a dream for Aldi's PR.

    I'm not based in the UK so it'll be a few days more before a bottle makes it to me, but curious if any forum members are thinking of giving it a try. I've had the same winery's "Solé Orange 2017" (same grapes, same length of maceration but the Chardonnay is also carbonically macerated) and it was very tasty I must say.

    I wrote in much more detail about it on my site, but I don't think I'm allowed to provide the link here.
  2. I have bought several cases of Paparuda Pinots Noir and Gris from the same producer, for between £5 and £5.30 from places like Tanners and Adnams. Nothing special, but a lot more drinkable than most sub-£10 wines in the UK, and show good varietal character. Just mentioning it as I think it shows there is good value to be had from Recas.

    Will swing by Aldi for the orange wine next time I am passing. Thanks for mentionin it
    Fintan Kerr and Jim Agar like this.
  3. Yes, I'll certainly take a look for it when passing (tomorrow most likely). Thanks for the advice, Simon.
  4. Tom Cannavan

    Tom Cannavan Administrator

    Haven't tasted it, but visited Cramele Recas a few years ago and spent the day with Philip Cox. The costs of production are low, the operation big, and whilst it might well be a gimmick from a fairly astute marketeer with an eye on what sells, they will no doubt make a very decent orange wine, even at that price: I can quite believe it is organic, low sulphur, etc. too.

    You can read my profile of Philip and Recas here, which tells the story of how he acquired the company over time following the 1989 revolution, though I am not sure he owns it as such, certainly it was financed by his Romanian wife's family and business partners at the time of my visit. I also don't know if things have changed, but his winemaker was Hartley Smithers, senior winemaker at Cassela in Griffith, Australia, producers of the Yellow Tail brand.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  5. PCE called for?
  6. No sign of it in the Streatham store or a sign that it had been there and sold out, enquiries met with some confusion so I escaped while the going was good
  7. Probably best Simon. I've never found their somms (or those at Lidl) all that knowlegeable tbh.

    I did once speak to an assistant who had a vague idea where they kept the frozen produce though, so not all bad.
    Simon Wheeler likes this.
  8. Having sold out in my local Aldi, it's now back on the shelves.
  9. Who's buying it all in Cheshire Paul?! The Aylesbury store was fully stacked (promotion area, rather than wine corner). Minus the two bottles I picked up. Perfectly acceptable, but no more that you'd expect for a £6 bottle of wine in terms of complexity and depth of flavour. Definitely relaxed a little on day two.
  10. Maybe that is where I went wrong. I was naively looking in the wine section :rolleyes:
  11. Schoolboy error Steve;)
    Steve Slatcher likes this.
  12. Minim Orange wine per glass here for me tonight. $14 a glass, so about a bottle and an 1/4 of the Aldi price. Vermwntino is the grape and it’s not bad, with a nice spice in amongst the slightly caramaised fruit. Aldi do some interesting stuff, but you buy for midweek drinking and Orange wine is a bit too serious for most midweek situations.
  13. I remember being deeply angry that Tokaji had sold out in Wolverhampton. Apart from me who's drinking Tokaji in Wolverhampton!
  14. Grabbed 2 of the last 4 on the end-of-aisle display - just about as far as possible from the wine section - and just tasted it. I am totally underwhelmed. Barely discernible phenolic aromas and barely noticeable astringency. I think I have detected equal astringency in some white wines. Orange wine for people that do not like orange wine, but do not mind a rather odd fruitiness and like the idea of natural wine.

    I also recently tried the M&S Georgian Qvevri wine - also orange. Again nothing to frighten the horses, with good ripe fruit (and maybe a smidge of RS?) to soften the acidty and tannin. But this had a lot more skin-contact character and hints at what you might get if you were to spend a bit more on a Georgian orange wine. No natural credentials claimed for this one, but a good result trumps winemaking philosophy for me. OK, it was £4 more expensive that the Aldi one, but much better VFM in my opinion.

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