Best and worst wines you can buy at Aldi

If you're trying to save a little money on groceries (and really, who isn't?), you might need to start shopping at Aldi. The popular grocery chain has some can't-miss items that Aldi fans swear by, but you might not think that wine would be one of them. As it turns out, you can find some really good bottles of wine at Aldi, but you can also find some not so great ones, so how can you tell the best bets from the less-than-stellar?

Here, the best and worst bottles of wine you can buy at Aldi, so you can feel confident in the wine aisle — and a little less apprehensive that you might buy a bottle you won't like. 

Best: The Exquisite Collection Limoux Chardonnay

According to The Guardian, this is one of the best wines you can buy at Aldi. The climate in Limoux makes it perfect for growing grapes for French Burgundy-style Chardonnays. This one in particular is a great value, priced at just under $10 a bottle. If you're a Chardonnay fan, this one is definitely worth trying.

Best: Greco di Tufo

If you're a white wine drinker, you need to know about this best-bet white that you can buy at Aldi. Decanter said, "It has a lovely floral, summer meadow nose with flavours of white flower, peach and a touch of grapefruit and marzipan." The perfect affordable spring and summer wine or a delicious change of pace year-round.

Best: Chateau Grand Pey-Lescours, St Emilion Grand Cru

If you like tannic reds with lots of fruit, you might like this French bottle, which, according to The Telegraph, is one of the best bottles of wine that you can buy at Aldi. It's a little bit pricier than some of the others on the list at just over $14, but still an affordable wine that's a great value. Plus, with all the other money you're saving on the rest of your grocery shopping, you can afford to splurge just a tiny bit on this wine.

Best: Jean Claude Mas, Astélia, Limoux

Here's another best bet from Limoux at Aldi. According to Decanter, this is a 100 percent Chardonnay wine with scents of honeycomb, lemon, and apple, and notes of grapefruit, melon, and floral elements. Irish blogger Joanne Ní Chróinín wrote on Instagram that it tastes of light fruit and citrus, toasted nuts, and honey. Plus, as is the norm at Aldi, it's pretty affordable. Decanter called this a "fantastic wine." High praise.

Best: Viña Decana Crianza, Utiel Requeña

According to The Telegraph, this Spanish red is a fantastic alternative option to Rioja. It's super affordable (which is a win in and of itself), so it's a great choice to pick up for a casual dinner or a bottle that you're going to take to someone else's house (which you might not even end up getting to drink). The Telegraph described the taste as "soft gentle fruit," which usually pleases a wide variety of red wine drinkers.

Best: Pardon My French, Fitou, Languedoc-Roussillon

If you've never had Fitou, you might want to pick up a bottle of this tasty wine the next time you're at Aldi. According to Decanter, this wine is earthy and full of red fruit flavor, like raspberries and plums, plus, interestingly enough, lavender. Do you like really juicy red wines? This one hits the mark.

Worst: Precious Earth Shiraz Merlot

When VICE recruited Australian sommelier Banjo Harris Plane to taste-test some of the Aldi wines that won awards at the Sydney International Wine Awards, they found that some of those wines really weren't very good. Take this Shiraz Merlot, for example. Both the writer and Harris Plane thought that the smell was a bit… putrid. Upon tasting it they found it was extremely dry. Harris Plane called it "gross." Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

Worst: Winking Owl Pinot Grigio

In case you haven't heard, Aldi now has its own version of Trader Joe's "Two Buck Chuck" (or, in some places, "Three Buck Chuck") called Winking Owl. In a taste test, Robert Scheer, a photographer at the Indianapolis Star who's also the paper's "Wine Dude," gave Winking Owl's Pinot Grigio a C+, saying that though it smelled like it should and tasted OK, it seemed a little watered down. I don't know about you, but that's not really what I'm looking for in a white wine (or any wine, really).

Worst: Tudor Central Victorian Shiraz

VICE had Harris Plane taste this Shiraz, as well. While it wasn't one of the absolute worst that they tasted, he said it still was not a great wine when compared with all the other red wine options out there. The fact that they found it "less gross" than the blend is, I suppose, an improvement, but it honestly doesn't really comfort me all that much. Skip it.

Worst: Winking Owl Cabernet Sauvignon

If you love Cabernet Sauvignon, you're best off skipping this Winking Owl version the next time you're shopping for wine at Aldi, because otherwise you're just setting yourself up for disappointment. According to Scheer at the Indianapolis Star, the fruit flavor tasted fake rather than truly fruity, and said it had such a "strong green vegetal flavor that I can't recommend it." He also advised, however, that you try it for yourself to make sure, as everyone's palates and preferences are different. Try it if you'd like, but I'd personally rather skip it.

Worst: Original Series Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot, Stellenbosch

This Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot is not one of the best bottles of wine you can buy at Aldi, unfortunately. The Decanter review said the fruit seemed to have not been quite ripe enough yet and that it didn't have the qualities that you'd expect a Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot to have, which makes it a good bottle to skip while shopping. The tar flavor, too, probably isn't really what you're looking for when shopping for wine.

Worst: Blackstone Paddock "The Player" Barossa Shiraz

According to VICE, this was supposed to be a very impressive wine, as it was judged against some pricey wines at the Sydney International Wine Awards. Unfortunately, it really just didn't live up to the hype. The taste-testers found the smell to be reminiscent of the Precious Earth Shiraz, which they did not like at all. They described the scent as "low tide, slightly-off seafood." Yuck. Not only that, but the taste wasn't up to par either. You're probably better off leaving this one on the shelf.