I've been a bit unreliable on my three supermarket wines for under £30. To be honest I rarely go into supermarkets at the moment, and I don't really buy wines from there anyway.
But a few weeks ago I popped into Lidl and bought a sparkling, a white and a red for £28.97, and I was pleasantly surprised.
Sparkling - Comte de Senneval Champagne £12.99
White - Winemaker's Selection Clare Valley Riesling for £6.99
Red - Rasteau from Domaine de la Combe Dieu for £8.99
Sparkling - Comte de Senneval Champagne
Paying £12.99 for a bottle of Champagne is not something I do very often, and to be honest it's a very much get what you pay for wine in my eyes. But that being said, it actually wasn't that bad.
Tasting Notes: It tasted like your bog standard cheap Champagne which may sound a bit brutal, but if that's something you're after I think it does the job. Personally I'd be much happier paying this price for a decent bottle of sparkling from another French region. A nice Cremante from the Loire, Burgundy or Alsace would give you a lot more pleasure.
The bubbles weren't too aggressive which you often find in lower end Champagne which was good. On the palate there's notes of lemon, lime, some grapefruit too. A touch of white flowers, and a little savoury note, but I wouldn't go full on biscuit like the tasting notes on Lidl's website suggest.
Positives: If you want a Champagne but don't want to go all out then this is a good option. I know plenty of people who only drink Champagne when it comes to bubbles, no matter the price or quality, so this could be for when they pop over expecting something nice.
Negatives: Although there was nothing wrong with the wine, I would suggest paying a bit more or going to another part of the world and you'll be far more impressed. I had an excellent Traditional Method sparkling wine from Chile of all places last night. Altamana Méthode sees 38 months of the lees (dead yeast cells) and is predominantly Chardonnay with a bit of Pinot Noir and it just knocked this out of the park. At just under £14 a bottle it's totally worth an extra pound!).
Food: I actually had this with roast chicken and it was fab. We often shy away from drinking Champagne with food but it does work with lighter flavours!
Winemaker's Selection Clare Valley Riesling
I was a bit dubious about this wine. No winery is mentioned on the label, just a selection by a "Winemaker" but nevertheless I only had a small amount of money left over. If I was on a budget, dry Riesling is often a safe bet (just don't tell the Riesling haters the grape and they'll be fine).
Tasting Notes: You get the flavours you would expect from a Clare Valley Riesling at this entry level price. Juicy limes and little else, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. At 11.5% abv this is a perfect daytime wine to have when friends are round for a BBQ. It's thirst quenching and easy to drink and surprisingly I would buy this again.
Positives: Just as I expected. A crowd pleaser and an absolute bargain at £6.99.
Negatives: Couldn't really fault it. Maybe the name? Just make up a name of a winery and we would all be sold. Love the label though.
Food: Great with fish and chips. The acidity cuts through the oiliness so well.
Rasteau from Domaine de la Combe Dieu
A Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre blend from Southern Rhone. If I'm eating out and looking for a cheap and cheerful red that everyone will like I often go to this area of France. I enjoyed really enjoyed, and for the price the wine has plenty of flavour and concentration.
Tasting Notes: A real mix of red and black fruit on the palate. Juicy cherries, overripe raspberries, tinned strawberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, black plums, bramble notes, a bit of cedar, some spice and black pepper, earthiness and lovely grippy tannins. There's certainly a lot going on.
Positives: Another great wine and tremendous value at £9.99. Probably one of the best red at this price I've had for a while.
Negatives: Couldn't fault it really. It's more than you would expect from a wine at this price.
Food: Ribeye, chips and béarnaise.
I really enjoyed the wine selection from Lidl this time. I probably wouldn't go here again as other supermarkets offer a much larger range in terms of price, quality and range but it's nice to see them offering some good wine at affordable prices.
Cheers - Heard in London