It's officially fall — and thus, rosé season is officially over. But before we put all of our pink-hued bottles to bed, we have one summer water left to uncork: Aldi's Exquisite Collection Côtes de Provence Rosé. If you've yet to hear anything about this French wine, it's the grocery company's award-winning rosé that caused mass media and consumer buzz back in May 2017. Why? Because it only costs $7.99 a pink pop. But up until nearly a week ago, the only purchasable bottles existed in Aldi locations solely outside of the U.S. Leaving us to wonder all summer long what this fancy-sounding, alluringly cheap wine actually tasted like. And although its nationwide September 20th arrival was seasonally mistimed for us here in the States, it's better late than never to take our first sips to finally find out!
Because we're not exactly a team of sommeliers here, we decided not to judge the celebrated wine on its individual tasting notes alone — and instead pitted it against a similar, also award-winning, bottle that retails for over double the price in a blind taste-testing challenge. What was the challenge exactly? Who could sip out the more expensive rosé.
Aldi's Côtes de Provence is described by the company as having "delicate yet intense flavors of strawberry and white fruit aromas, with a subtle quartzy spice." And the competitor's description was not far off in also noting "classic notes of strawberries, spice and hints of cherry blossom in a fresh, vibrant, yet still textured style.” We absorbed the descriptors, uncorked the wines, poured, and blindly tasted away. Our final thoughts? The overall consensus was unanimous: both tasted exactly the same.
Yes, we may be wine-tasting novices with the majority of subtle flavor notes undoubtedly lost upon us — but aren't most rosé-obsessed millennials? And if at the end of hot day all we're really looking for a solid bottle of summer water, then why pay nearly double the price for a chicer product with exactly the same flavor cachet? Aldi's Côtes de Provence may not be everyone's idea of an award-winning wine — but for $7.99 a pop, it certainly has our vote.