A "new" Aldi opened a couple of years ago in Sandyford and I have been meaning to check out their booze for ages, but have been continually diverted by Dunnes at the Beacon and the nearby O'Briens wines, just around the corner. So yesterday, I girded my loins, and with my conscience in the back seat (Lil Bill), sallied forth to the aforementioned Aldi.
Things didn't start well. Their trolleys only take 2 Euro coins, rather than the standard one Euro coins (or tokens if you prefer) and they don't "do" baskets. I was about to leave in disgust when I managed to collar a helpful employee who sold me a token for a mere 89c. Perhaps I am not the target audience but would putting out a few baskets kill them?
Matters didn't improve. Lil Bill refused to pick out a breakfast cereal as he didn't fancy any of their copycat brands. I was only there for the booze so that's pretty much all we got. The booze purchased is pictured below...
Not pictured is a bottle of Aldi Old Hopking Gin, €12-99 for 70cl, which is very cheap. I had heard good things about it , see this. We tried it out in a G&T later and it was perfectly decent. I intend to test against an open bottle of standard Gordon's next weekend. (I try to only drink spirits on non"school" nights)
*Update - I set up a blind test for Herself and she preferred the Gordons, just. I knew which was which and I also just favoured the Gordons; there was a little botanical extra present. Still, the Aldi gin is great value as priced, especially if you are not a gin snob, like me.
On the beer front I got some of the following:
Spaten (not pictured) €1.79. A good price for this beer which I was co-incidentally drinking on Friday night at a Harvest (Neil young tribute band) gig at the Sugar Club. Great gig, although the Spaten was €6 a pop there, ouch.
Marston's Pedigree Pale Ale - €2.09 4.5% abv, Never seen this before but as I am an IPA junkie I got some. Report on this to follow. Per the Sindo today, liking craft IPAs, the more exclusive the better is a hipster trait. I think that's my only one, unless driving a Skoda and shopping in Penney's counts?
*Update - meh, nothing to see here.
Staroslav Czech Pilsner - €1.19 Another punt here. Although at 4%, it's not off to a good start.
*Update - This wasn't too bad. Not a huge amount of flavour but what was there was pleasant enough. One for those who like cheap weak lager, methinks.
Rheinbacher Premium Pils - €6.99 for 6. More random German beer from the budget retailers. Most of the similar beer from Lidl is piss but the Grafenwalder & Finkbrau are OK, so long as you don't drink them after a "name" beer, at which point the cheapies tend to come off second best.
*Update - Ugh. I've had two of these now just to make sure the first one wasn't a fluke. In a nutshell, it's not very nice, its watery at first and then there's an unpleasant aftertaste. I'm regretting buying six as I'm not sure I can force myself to drink the remaining four, loathe as I am to pour beer down the sink.
On the wine front I picked 2 reds.
Domaine Roussellet Pinot Noir "Vin De France" - No Vintage specified. - €6-99
We drink this last night and it was just OK, just about drinkable. Even at this price I wouldn't recommend it, unless bargain, non-vintage, non-Burgundy, Pinot Noir is your thing.
Minarete Ribera del Duero Roble 2011 - €7-99
9pm: I opened and decanted this at 4pm before we headed out to our local gastropub The Wild Boar (where the service was a little random but the food was very, very good). Anyhoo, just tasted the wine and after the Pinot Noir yesterday, I wasn't hopeful. Surprise! This is quite nice. Some nice plummy fruit and a bit of depth to the flavour. Not bad for 8 notes.
10pm: It's still good. Not earth shattering, but solid. There's now the tiniest bit of astringency in the mix, along with some recently evolved tannins. All in all, its pretty decent and good value as priced.
I think I've gone on long enough, so I'll leave it at that. It's a mixed bag so far from Aldi. I'll probably blog or at least tweet on the various beers above at some stage over the next few days...