Not to be sniffed at, and well worth a visit!
by Ian Blackshaw
It is that time of the year again in France for the wine fairs – foires aux vins!
Apart from the traditional French Supermarkets of Auchan and Carrefour, this year an announcement by LIDL that they are holding their wine fair from 3 – 6 September, 2014 caught my eye.
Now LIDL is a discount supermarket (‘une supermarche des bonnes affaires’) which is often looked down on and one that my wife and I do not know very well, compared with the other German discount store of ALDI, which we do frequent, from time to time, finding their wide selection of French cheeses very good value for money indeed, including the local ‘sea-salty’ flavoursome cheese of ‘maroilles’.
In their 2014 wine fair, LIDL are offering a wide selection of French wines from the main wine producing regions of France, including Bordeaux, Bourgogne, Alsace, Loire, Cotes de Rhone and the Pays Doc. But, perhaps surprisingly, no Champagne – at least as far as I can see! However, I noticed that the Catalogue includes an interesting ‘Cremant de Bordeaux Brut Rose’, which won a gold medal in the 2014 ‘Concours des Cremants’, and a snip at €4.99 a bottle, and one, therefore, that I shall have to try!
As readers of my wine articles will know, I am particularly fond of the Bordelais reds, and one which caught my eye in the LIDL Catalogue is a 2009 a Graves Chateau Gravaillas, which won a gold medal at the Macon Wine Competition of 2011, selling at €7.39 a bottle.
Of the whites, a 2013 Saint-Veran, from the Cote d’ Or, Burgundy, priced at €7.49 a bottle, is particularly noteworthy, just as good as its more expensive neighbour ‘Pouilly Fuisse’! Likewise, the LIDL 2014 Catalogue features for the first time a 2011 Loupiac pudding wine from the Chateau du Cros.
There is certainly something for everyone in the 2014 LIDL French wines selection and also that will suit all pockets, from the cheap and cheerful (in other words ‘gluggable’), ranging in price from €2.50 to €4 a bottle to the more expensive sophisticated wines, like a 2011 Saint-Estephe Chateau Saint-Gorbian, Cuvee Tradition, which won a bronze medal in the 2013 Bordeaux Wine Competition, on offer at €14.99 a bottle – described as a ‘Coup de Coeur’! In other words, an irresistible bargain! Even more up market is another ‘Coup de Coeur’: a 2009 Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classe at €25.99 a bottle from Chateau La Tour Du Pin Figeac.
You can access on line the LIDL 2014 Wine Catalogue which is well illustrated and informative. Readers of this article, with a keen eye for detail, will notice that this is an interactive website and you can also order and buy on line, if you wish!
Better still, readers of ‘Frogsiders’ might like to make a personal visit to their local LIDL supermarket, rather than a virtual one, and see what their 2014 wine fair has to offer them and share their buys and experiences with us!