It should be common knowledge by now that I love a bargain. I’m a self-confessed yellow sticker hunter when it comes to supermarket shopping, though I’m not one of the people who puts their trolley in front of the whole fridge to block everyone else, or waits while the staff member stickers things up, but there’s something about getting something for a bit cheaper that I just love – as I imagine we all do, it’s not like there’s a restriction on bargain hunting, right?
It’s the same reason why I’m on board with the more recent trend of ‘dupes’, i.e. finding an off-brand version or cheaper version of the big name item. You see, I like what I like and make no apologies for that, but I balk at paying some of the downright extortionate prices, so if I can find something very similar or identical for a fraction of the price, I’m in.
Dupes are a Big Deal in the makeup and beauty world, but I’m starting to notice more and more trickling into other sectors, including wine and spirits. There are some retailers out there that specialise in making dupes, and why not! Fair on them I say, but the proof truly is in the pudding: do they really match up to the OG?
One of the dupe specialist retailers is Aldi. They do cheap quality items on a normal day, but they aren’t afraid to go after the luxury branded markets either; whether it’s their version of the Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Miracle Cream or Heck Chicken Sausages, Aldi have become a master of taking a tried and true idea and giving it a whirl. Sometimes they don’t turn out too well (they ended up having to redesign the packaging for their Heck-esque sausages when they ended up being a little too similar), but they are unashamed in their willingness and ability to make something we all love for a bit cheaper.
But what about their wine? Both Aldi and Lidl have frankly excellent wine selections, but can Aldi make a dupe for a big name brand?
I was browsing their website looking for something entirely different (on which another dupe review will be coming soon, watch this space!) when I came across the Beachfront Pink Moscato wine. Look familiar? Yep, I’m gonna hold my hand up and say this meant to be a dupe for the very popular Barefoot Pink Moscato.
Yes, the initial assessment is based mainly on the aesthetic similarities of the bottle, but if it wasn’t mean to be similar to the brand why would you make a label that was almost-but-not-quite the same? Still though, it’s the taste that really matters.
The aromas of the wines are very similar, and the colours are close too; the Aldi version is a pale blush compared to the vibrant pink hue of the Barefoot wine. Some may find the saturated colour off-putting, but it is very indicative of the Barefoot experience: their Pink Moscato is simple, sweet, and delicious. Yes, it’s perhaps not the greatest wine in terms of complexity or the more ‘traditional’ wine nuances, but I’d be a liar if I said I don’t usually have a couple of bottles in the house at any given time. It’s such an easy drinker that when I’ve had a long day at work, more often than not I tend to reach for a glass of Barefoot to unwind with. This doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy complex, uniquely interesting wines – I really do – but it’s just such a comfort to drink that it has become a household favourite.
Now, how does the Beachfront compare? Is it the same? In a word, no. They are startlingly different wines, especially when you try them together; comparatively the Barefoot wine is an assault on the senses every time you take a sip, whereas the Beachfront is a slow burner with less intense flavours – but it is equally good. It’s softer on the palate but has a more complex flavour profile and is decidedly less one-note than the Barefoot. Whereas the Barefoot is an intense, juicy sweetness the whole way through, the Beachfront Pink Moscato starts with a light tartness and then edges its way slowly but surely into sweeter frontiers, finishing on classic citrus end notes. It’s easy to drink, though I would say it feels less ‘refreshing’ than the Barefoot wine, but that could be down to my internal bias for all things sweet.
The pricing of the two isn’t wildly different; the Barefoot Pink Moscato typically retails at £6.75 (though it’s often on offer for anywhere between £5.50 – £6.50, and I managed to get it through Amazon Pantry for £4.66!), and the Beachfront is £4.99. So, whilst not a game changing saving, if you like Pink Moscato and buy a lot it could be worth giving it a go. If nothing else, it’s something new to try, and that’s half the fun of wine, right? Honestly, there’s no better feeling than finding a new favourite. I can’t say that Aldi’s Beachfront Pink Moscato is that for me, but I can say it’s a good wine, and honestly for under a fiver it’s a steal.
Would I say it’s a dupe for the Barefoot? Honestly, not really. That being said, I found that the wine is significantly sweeter the day after opening, and honestly tasted a lot closer to the Barefoot at that point. Whether it’s the loss of the slight fizziness that is so familiar with Pink Moscato’s, I can’t say, but it is intriguing. So, if you do give this wine a go, do yourself a favour and save a glass for the day after – you just might find that you prefer it that way.