IT was a thumbs up to budget supermarkets when an Aldi sherry came out on top in a taste test competition.
The budget brand’s Caversham Cream, priced at £5.25, won gold this week at a prestigious event for supermarket own-brand wines.
Judges at the International Wine Challenge 2014 described the calibre of supermarket brands as “phenomenal” and that the days when shoppers might be embarrassed to take such labels to a dinner party were “long gone”.
So the Citizen took a bottle of Aldi’s Caversham Cream and a bottle of a more expensive Marks & Spencer equivalent to The Westgate today for customers to sample.
Eight people took part in a blind taster test and were asked to give their thoughts on the two sherries.
Five preferred Aldi’s tipple while three said they would choose the more expensive one.
Chris Marsh, manager of the pub, said: “The Aldi one is much more fruity and more subtle, with a nicer after taste. The M&S one has quite a harsh taste and not so refined in my mind.
“If I was going to pick one it would be the Aldi sherry.”
Robert Croft, from Leicester, who was visiting Gloucester with his wife Jenny, agreed.
He said: “I prefer the Aldi sherry as it has more depth. Both are good and we always shop in Aldi.”
Caversham Cream Sherry was the cheapest bottle to win a gold at the awards.
Aldi also won gold for its Minarete Ribera Del Duero Roble 2012.
In all, the budget supermarket collected four silvers and 13 bronzes.
Su Farrar, from Sandhurst, said: “I think Aldi is great. I often shop there, especially for their good selection of meats.”
Nicki Jones, from Longlevens, added: “Aldi’s sherry smells and tastes nicer. I would buy it.”
The three customers who preferred the M&S sherry all agreed that Aldi’s version was good quality.
Nelson McLean, who was visiting the city from Australia, said: “Aldi’s has quite a bitter after taste which I don’t like. That’s just a personal preference, it is subjective.
“I think both are agreeable and I would still drink the Aldi sherry.”
Rob Fasey, from Gloucester, added: “If you like a nice sherry you wouldn’t go wrong with the one from Aldi.
“It’s a thumbs up to budget supermarkets.”
Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Morrisons and Asda also picked up golds for wines from their own-brand ranges.
Asda also received five silvers and 20 bronzes and Britain’s wine growers had a record year at the awards.