‘I tried Aldi’s £8 paper wine bottle to see if it’s a soggy disaster or game-changer’

By Staff

Aldi has launched the UK’s first supermarket own-brand paper wine bottles and Mirror writer Niamh took on the tough job of trying them, reviewing taste, the packaging and value for money

What’s better than cheap, delicious booze? Cheap booze that’s better for the environment, of course.

Aldi’s wine offering needs little introduction as the budget brand has won a glittering array of awards for its vino, but now it has upped the ante with a UK supermarket first – paper wine bottles.

The clumsy ones among us will be filled with dread at the thought of a flimsy paper bottle, especially given how tough red wine stains are to scrub. Aside from spillages, my instant concern was whether the £7.99 paper option would feel less fancy than a glass bottle. But my fears were quickly put to bed when it arrived. The environmentally friendly bottle – which Aldi says is five times lighter than a glass alternative – is a real game-changer for picnic season.

The Cambalala South African Shiraz (£7.99, 75cl) and Cambalala South African Sauvignon Blanc (£7.99, 75cl) are the two versions available in the paper bottles, so armed with two wine glasses (and a well-lined stomach) I put them to the test. Read on for my verdict on taste, packaging, cost and enviornmental impact.

With my Aldi bottles bottles in tow and glasses at the ready, I was apprehensive. The idea of wine in a paper bottle just doesn’t make sense to me, how does it work? Does it leak? Does it alter the taste?

I am no wine connoisseur – I’ll pick wine from a menu solely based on whether I like the name of it or not – but I know Aldi usually has a pretty good wine selection so I knew I was in safe hands.


Rating: 6/10

Aldi is the first supermarket to launch an own-brand paper wine bottle. It’s made from 94% recycled paperboard, lined with a food-grade pouch to house the liquid. The packaging claims to be fully recyclable and five times lighter than a standard glass bottle.

Heavy glass bottles are a pain to carry around if you’re nipping to a friend’s house one evening or sunning it up in the park. But these are really lightweight which makes them the perfect picnic accompaniment – or easy to put into your bag to bring over to a dinner party without weighing you down.

What’s more, by replacing glass bottles with paper and stocking in stores nationwide, Aldi has generated a carbon footprint reduction that’s equivalent to driving around the planet 5.8 times – giving eco-conscious wine lovers even more reason to say cheers this spring. The paper bottle has 84% less carbon footprint than a glass bottle, which is seriously impressive.

The paper casing has a genius tab that peels away when you’re ready to dispose of it, for easy recycling. More on that later. Pouring the wine did feel slightly different as it came out of the hidden pouch inside, but it smelt just like regular wine from a glass bottle.


Rating: 10/10

Now for the big moment of seeing how they tasted – I have drank my fair share of wine, and it’s safe to say I was very, very impressed.

Both the red and white were smooth and silky, and there was no bitterness at all. Sometimes Sauvignon can have a slightly sour finish, but this was fruity and refreshing. I think the inside pouch may have even helped to keep it cold, a bit like a cool bag you’d tuck your picnic food away in. It tastes seriously fresh.

The juicy red tasted really decadant. It was rich and full-bodied, and if you didn’t know it was Aldi, you wouldn’t be able to tell. I can definitely see why Aldi has won awards for their wine, and for the price, you can’t complain.

The verdict

Overall rating: 8/10

Overall I am seriously impressed, not only with the taste but the clever packaging concept. The only bugbear I had was the cardboard casing got a bit soggy when wine trickled down the bottle after opening and pouring, but it felt sturdy enough to withstand it. I do worry if the bottle was to get wet, eg. from an ice pack, that it wouldn’t fare as well. Granted, the wine itself is sealed in a pouch, but I don’t think I would appreciate soggy cardboard in my bag.

Although I love that it’s reduced carbon footprint and the packaging is good for the environment, the packaging doesn’t have the same wow-factor as a glass bottle. You can’t put the bottles in a wine cooler or ice bucket either, so it might be hard to keep chilled..

Another slightly dissapointing caveat is the plastic cap, neck and pouch can’t be recycled at home – instead they need to be taken to a local recycling point. The whole bottle is technically fully recyclable, but only the paper casing can be chucked in your home recycling bin. While we’re all getting more conscious with our recycling efforts, I wonder how many consumers would go to that length to recycle the plastic. But the carbon footprint reduction is a real sustainable winner nontheless.

Launched nationwide on March 18, these two paper bottle wines are available in store now.

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