French fancy: Lidl release new Christmas Wine Tour collection

Lidl has scoured the Rhone Valley and uncovered six fabulous wines to add to its latest Wine Tour.

Published 3rd Dec 2018
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

In stores now, the collection of Rhône wines - which forms the year's Wine Tour - start from only £5.99 and shows how the region has taken centre stage as a brilliant source of quality and value.

Although known for red wines, the Rhone region is also home to some wonderful whites including a sparkling wine, which is exclusive to Lidl.

Given that Scottish customers bought more than 50 per cent of the UK national average of one of Lidl’s premium Rhone offerings last time it was on sale, this year’s festive Wine Tour is sure to be popular.

Carefully selected by Lidl's buying team, who set out to find some hidden gems which then lead to customer savings, the collection showcases the best wines from the region at price tags that won't break the bank.

Sourced from vineyards across the Rhone, we took a trip to meet producers and find out more about the festive Wine Tour earlier this year. From this, we’ve highlighted the best buys for the season.

The jewel in the crown of the collection is sure to be the moreish Vacqueyras, AOC, 2016.

wine tour

Billed as a cheaper Châteauneuf-du-Pape (as it uses grapes from the same region), it’s no wonder that this was extremely popular in Scotland when it was last in stores.

For less than a tenner, you can enjoy this full-bodied red – which is from one of the best-known wine producing villages in the Rhône Valley – with red meat dishes.

wine tour

It wouldn’t be Christmas without some fizz, and luckily Lidl’s exclusive  Cuvée Cesar, Clairette de Die AOP is ideal for seasonal celebration.

This wine is not usually exported out of France, and is light and fresh yet slightly sweet. As it is only 7.5 per cent alcohol – thanks to its content of un-fermented sugars - it could be the ideal bottle to toast Christmas morning with.

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The grapes for the Café Terrasse Muscat, Vaucluse IGP, 2017 are grown in the scenic heights of the Dentelles de Montmirail, where the different types of ‘terroir’ contribute to the grape variety.

Although the Muscat grape is better known for its sweet wines, this is a delightful, refreshing, dry white which is perfect for any starter come Christmas day.

Part of the RHÔNEA wine producer cooperative - which brings together over 200 local vineyards - the wines produced here are done so without harmful chemicals and without animal derivatives meaning vegans don't need to miss out.

wine tour

Other white wines include the dry, fruity Colnem Blanc, Costières de Nîmes, AOC, which is light enough to enjoy all year round (and cheap enough to stock up on).

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The Dame de Clochevigne, Rasteau AOP, 2017 is a fine example of a premium Rhone wine not often seen in the UK, at a price which makes it even more appealing.

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This is another delicious, full-bodied red which is set to be popular, especially in Scottish stores and would make a perfect gift for a wine connoisseur.

You can’t hear about the Rhone valley and not think of a Cotes du Rhone, and Lidl’s selection is the Les Aumoniers, Côtes du Rhône Villages, Seguret AOP, 2016.

Perfect for the turkey, it’ll also work well with veggie dishes such as a nut roast, as it isn’t too heavy. The price also means you can buy a few bottles to ensure the friends and family are sorted.

Tasting notes from Lidl’s Master of Wine Richard Bampfield

wine tour
Picture: Richard Bampfield

Vacqueyras, AOC, 2016 (£8.99)

This is a smart, winter warmer with red fruits and spicy undertones. The Vacqueyras is made from the same grape varieties and the same region as Châteauneuf-du-Pape, so stylistically the wine is similar but without the price tag.

Les Aumoniers, Côtes du Rhône Villages, Seguret AOP, 2016 (£6.99)

This full-bodied wine tasty and satisfying, with notes of white pepper. Try it with a nut roast Christmas dinner to keep things veggie.

Dame de Clochevigne, Rasteau AOP, 2017 (£7.99)

If a fruity, gutsy, red is to your taste then this is one to try. With flavours of deep plum and pepper, this mouth-filling, dry red is an impeccable example of premium Rhône wine.

Colnem Blanc, Costières de Nîmes, AOC, 2017 (£6.49)

This dry yet fruity is a peachy wine, perfect for your lighter meals over the winter weeks.

Café Terrasse Muscat, Vaucluse IGP, 2017 (£5.99)

This wine is made entirely from Muscat grapes and is a delightful, refreshing, dry white with bright fruit flavours. Great for having a glass with friends!

Cuvée Cesar, Clairette de Die AOP, 2016 (£7.99)

Lidl’s exclusive sparkling wine has rose petal aromas and flavours of baked apple. The very moreish fizz works perfectly with mince pies or puddings.

Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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