JWL Issue #113: 3 Great Aldi Wines, Plus - All About Altitude

September 29, 2020

Last week was a big week at Wine List HQ. We held two events: our Peckham Cellars paired wine dinner, and our at-home Zoom tasting with one of our wine tutors. Feedback so far has been very strong and we'll be planning far more of an events calendar in coming months.

Introducing online tastings

On Wednesday 7th, we will introduce our first ever online tasting of the month's wines. If you want to join the tasting pleas head here. One of our wine team will be leading everyone through a guided tasting on how to approach our core wines. If this goes well and is well received, we'll start hosting these at the start of every month.

So – if you wanted some more structure your tastings or had unanswered questions, it's a great way to get involved. Register interest here.

Banquist x Wine List

Banquist help you learn to make incredible food at home. They partner with top quality chefs to prepare dishes of lesser-known ingredients and prepared in lesser-known styles. Sound familiar? There's a reason we liked them so much – and our wine ethos and their food one overlaps a lot. Hence our partnership. Head here and use the code WINELIST to get 20% off your first order. We're providing the wine – everyone gets one bottle, but you can buy an extra and get some video lessons factored in as well.

Wanna tote?

Finally, we've just got our first ever tote bags produced. These are super limited at this stage. Want to get one? As a customer, refer a friend before tomorrow and you'll get one. Not yet a customer? Sign up with the code TOTE15 and we'll add a tote to your order.

We plan to release a series of totes in coming months, so watch this space!

Taste

Aldi special

Last week we visited the Aldi press tasting. It's likely going to be the last wine tasting of that sort we go to for a while, so we're very glad to have done so. This week is an Aldi special, but we've got plenty more to share with you in coming months.

Crémant du Jura (£8.49) has is a blancs de blanc, meaning it's only made from chardonnay. There's a slight bitterness here, but the apple & lemon aromas are the most prominent things. Great value sparkling wine – and a fun bottle to boot.

At £4.49, Pierre Jaurant Viognier 2019 was the cheapest wine I liked from the day. Lychee, peach, and a handful of floral aromas (jasmine, acacia) are prominent on the nose. And the palate is rich, viscous, and sweet tasting (with a hint of sugar in the glass).  

And if you fancy something red for your shopping basket, the Carlos Lucas Portuguese Dao 2018 (£5.99) is a great place to start. There's warming spices, and dark aromas of black berry and plum. The tannins and acidity are both noticeable and provide good structure to what could have been a really heavy wine.

Learn

I know with coffee, altitude plays a part – is the same true of wine?

Natalia asks us this month the impact that altitude has on a wine's aroma, structure and flavour – recognising the impact it has on coffee.

It's a great observation and a correct one. Coffee, like wine, is driven by a huge number of climatic influences.

Grapes need to ripen. So in cool climates, where grapes ripen more slower, you get aromas which are more tart or green, higher acidity, and lower alcohol. While in warmer climates, the grapes ripen more. This can lead to jammier aromas, high alcohol, and lower acidity. Balance is of course sought after.

Altitude therefore has a huge impact. For every 100 metres of elevation, you lose two-thirds of a degree of celsius. The higher you are, the cooler it gets. If you're in a hot country therefore, growing grapes at altitude is a brilliant way to reduce the temperature. Consider Etna, a mountain over 3,350m high in a country where average temperatures hit 30 degrees every day in summer.

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