Now, people who should know better talk about the 10,000 hour rule to mastery. Well me, I've drunk at least 10,000 bottles of cheap supermarket plonk so, trust me, this is something I know about. And here is your cut out and keep guide to the best five bottles of wine at Aldi for under a fiver. Or, how I like to think about it, a fucking fiver for fuck's sake!
Chilean Pinot Noir £4.99. This is rather hilariously called “Reserve”. When I'd bet odds-on that it's actually a bottle of Cono Sur pinot noir which you can buy elsewhere in a nicely branded bottle for £6.99. Which always seemed like a fair price. At £4.99 it's special supermarket deal every day of the year.
But the thing is, their “Unreserve” French pinot noir is actually a bit better and 60 fucking pence cheaper. But, hang on, you don't need to scrimp and save to treat yourself to that once a week when they have a secret weapon. No, not their Bordeaux Superieur, which frankly isn't, but their Cotes De Rhone at £3.89, which is 10p cheaper than it used to be down Peckham Sainsburys in 1984, and which is really, totally, perfectly drinkable. Like all good house reds - from Chinatown to your local curry house - it's brilliant with spice and fat and garlic, and it's perfectly possible to polish off a couple of bottles during one episode of Strictly Come Dancing.
Now, a little something for the ladies. Sadly, their sherry range only extends to supremely sticky, so you'll have to slum it down in the chardonnays. The Australian one is serviceable, Anne is face down in one as I write but, again, at current exchange rates it was almost certainly made, without any contact with grapes, in a stainless steel vat the size of New South Wales. Their French version is also okay but why go for that at a heady £4.99 when you can go Hungarian, which is where anyone with £3.49 to spare is heading these days. Budavar, Budavar, chants the checkout girl.