Food & Drink

Food & Drink

£2.99 Organic Wine!

aldi organic wine

(no photos of the organic wine itself, we drank it…)

I am not particularly fussy about wine.  If I’m buying wine for myself, either in a shop or bar/restaurant, I will generally always pick either a Chilean red – maybe a Malbec or Merlot – or a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.  However if a friend shows up at my door brandishing a bottle of wine, then I will happily sit and quaff whatever it is – red, white or rose, and whatever type – whilst we chew the fat.

We popped into Aldi over the weekend to pick up some alcohol for Christmas.  In the absence of an independent bottle shop in our area, we go to Aldi.  They sell lots of beers from smaller independent brewers, such as the relatively local to us Williams Bros, who make some pretty nice beer.  I’ve also found Aldi’s wine is pretty good too.  And I’m not going to lie, the price is pretty good too.

Whilst picking up some beers and perusing the wine I spotted some intriguing looking beer bottles.  Or rather, I thought they were beer bottles.  On second look I realised they were actually wines.  And not just wines, but organic wines, at a rather bargainous £2.99 a bottle.  I picked up a bottle of the red and a bottle of the white, just to see how nice £2.99 organic wine could be.

Now the bottles come packaged in beer bottles, crown cap and all, and as you can imagine are smaller than a standard wine bottle.  You get 500 ml compared to the standard 750 ml wine bottle size.  However it does mean that a litre of wine comes in at £5.98, which is pretty good value, especially for organic wine.  They are by South African winery – Origin Wines.

We’ve tried both, in the interests of quality control of course,  and the red – a South African red – is by far my favourite.  It’s very fruity, very smooth and not too acidic, and doesn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth, like some cheap reds do.  We drank it on it’s own of an evening after the kids went to bed, and it went down very very well.  I think it would work well paired with food too though.  We are already planning a return trip to Aldi to buy a few more bottles for over the festive season.

The white isn’t entirely my cup of tea.  It’s perfectly drinkable but felt a little dry for my liking.   Maybe it’s more of a Chardonnay in style.  We managed to drink it all though, so it wasn’t that bad!  You might really like it, so don’t discount it on my advice.

Aldi’s organic wine is cringely marketed as a “craft wine” in an attempt to tap into the success of the craft beer movement, and to entice millennials into buying more wine.  Now, I’m too old to be a millennial, and don’t need fancy packaging to get me to buy wine.  I’m also not too sure what craft wine actually means, especially considering Origin Wine says they are one of the top 3 South African wine exporters.  However, if you can get past the gimmicky packaging and the “craft wine” label it’s actually pretty nice organic wine for £2.99, particularly the red.  I’ll raise a glass to it!

Have you tried Aldi’s organic wine?  What did you think of it?

Food & Drink, Winter

10 Vegetarian Christmas Dinner Ideas

christmas dinner for vegetarians

Aah, vegetarian Christmas dinner ideas.  The thing that stumps me year after year.  After a decade of vegetarianism, Christmas dinner is still the one area that I struggle with knowing what to cook.  Turkey is so synonymous with Christmas that it is difficult to think of ‘traditional’ or ‘festive’ vegetarian dishes.

To help you, and to inspire me this year, I’ve put together ten vegetarian Christmas dinner ideas,that aren’t nut roast.  I don’t know about you, but my heart always sinks when I see nut roast on a festive menu.  I’ve never eaten a nut roast that I actually liked.

Instead I’ve concentrated on seasonal produce, like root vegetables, kale, cauliflower and other vegetables in season in December.

Some of the Christmas dinner ideas might be a little left field, but without a traditional vegetarian Christmas dinner why not start a new Christmas dinner tradition?!

And yes, I know it’s early, but with four weeks to go, I thought some organised folks (more organised than me!) might want to start planning their Christmas dinner!

10 Vegetarian Christmas Dinner Ideas

Kale, Chestnut and Mushroom Pie

vegetarian christmas dinner ideas

This kale, chestnut and mushroom pie from Delicious magazine looks so tasty and comforting.

Mushroom Hazelnut Tart

vegetarian christmas recipe ideas

This mushroom hazelnut tart from The New York Times could make a great vegetarian Christmas dinner idea.

Sweet Potato and Kale Pie

vegetarian christmas ideas

This sweet potato and kale pie from Healthy Magazine looks like a proper winter warmer.

Spinach and Feta Quiche

vegetarian christmas dinner

This spinach and feta quiche with sweet potato crust from Cooking Light looks really tasty, and contains that vegetarian failsafe – spinach and feta.

Christmas Veg Laska

christmas dinner ideas for vegetarians

Christmas veg laska, from Jamie Oliver, for something a bit different this festive season.

Butternut Squash and Stilton Filo Pie

christmas dinner for vegetarians

This butternut squash and stilton filo pie recipe from Tesco looks like it could be the one for us this year.  My cooking skills are limited at the best of times so I need to see if I can muster up the courage to work with filo!

Root Vegetable and Chickpea Crumble

vegetarian dinner party recipe

This root vegetable and chickpea crumble again from Delicious Magazine, looks easy to put together and the perfect winter dish.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic and Paprika

alternative christmas dinner

This whole roasted cauliflower with garlic and paprika might be one of the more left field options for a vegetarian Christmas dinner, but it would certainly make a talking point!

Herb and Garlic Root Vegetable Crumble

savoury vegetarian christmas dinner

Finally, this tasty looking herb and garlic root vegetable crumble is vegan friendly too.

What’s on your menu for Christmas dinner?  Are there any vegetarian (or vegan) meals that you cook every year?

After more Christmas inspired posts?  Here’s my guide to eco friendly Christmas trees.