My first experience with Shiraz wine occurred when I drank an entire $3 bottle of it while lying on the floor of a windowless room during a Category 3 hurricane in Tampa, Florida. I had purchased said bottle from ALDI. Presumably, I enjoyed it. Even if I didn’t, it was a hurricane — I was going to drink it anyway. And more importantly, it was only $3.
For wine-drinking deal hunters, German discount grocer ALDI is a major player. There are more than 2,000 ALDI stores in the U.S., not all of which carry alcohol. Sadly for me, now that I’m not in Florida, my nearest ALDI locations aren’t among the booze-selling ones, so I’m left living vicariously through the many viral TikToks taste-testing some of ALDI’s most popular alcohol products.
“If you go to any ALDI social media group, you will hear comments from fans who live in states that don’t allow alcohol to be carried in their states, and these fans will specifically go to an ALDI while they are on vacation or on a work trip to stock up on wine,” says Jeanette Hurt, author of The Unofficial ALDI Cookbook.
One highly-coveted item is the Giambellini bottled peach bellini, described on the ALDI website as a sparking cocktail made from wine and peach juice that will “brighten any brunch or gathering.” It looks like prices vary, but it’s typically sold for around $5.99.
“You guys… oh my god… this is amazing,” @laveeslay_couture says in a TikTok of her trying the bellini for the first time that now has just under 40,000 likes. TikToks like this have apparently enhanced the demand — though the bellini has been in stores for over a year now, Google Trends shows that January brought more searches for the product than ever. “Some people will buy every bottle in a store,” says Hurt. “It’s crazy popular. [People] will take photos of their shopping carts filled with wine.”
ALDI’s other fruit-wine varieties are similarly popular. One highlighting their $1.99 pineapple wine has over 1.5 million likes. “Disclaimer, my palate is whatever the opposite of refined is,” @matthewlesky says before taking a sip. “Yep, it’s very much juice,” he concludes.
Another TikToker, @jaynaturally26, has essentially built her entire account around trying out ALDI wines. In some of her biggest videos, she’s reviewed their more traditional in-house brand Winking Owl $2.95 wines as well as a $5 sweet watermelon wine. Both received positive reviews.
Because of their price and relative rarity, ALDI wines have achieved a cult status in their own right. Whether they’re decent by wine standards is besides the point: They’re cheap, they taste good and they get the job done. In some ways, the quest to find them — and then try them out on TikTok — might even be half the fun.