NV Araldica Asti Spumante Moscato

The only word I understand in the title is "Asti", but I
Posted 11th January 2012        

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The only word I understand in the title is “Asti“, but I suppose that’s all one needs to know.

Being on a need-to-know basis with a wine has its benefits, especially an Italian wine, where there’s often so much to no, but so little to gain by knowing it.

As a clue, the word “sweet” features prominently on the bottle.

I was hoping this would be sweet or fizzy. For under £5 it seemed almost unreasonable to expect both, no matter what expectations I’d developed from a sip of Asti during my WSET course last year and the numerous recommendations I’d read over the festive period for drinking it with Christmas pudding (and other festive foodstuffs).

As it happened I was very pleased with this “Asti”, even though I couldn’t wait till puddings were served to open it.

It smelled of little but lemons, and gave me a wet nose from its explosive fizziness. The colour was a pale straw(ish), and it was very noisy.

That this light, sweet and frivolous slip of a thing can be called “wine”, alongside austere Burgundy, formidable Port and serious Sancerre almost seems a crime against good sense and good taste. But what it lacks in complexity it makes up for in sheer exuberance – and it’s not sickly, which is merciful indeed, because at such a low level of alcohol content it would be in danger of tasting like a can of Sprite if it hadn’t the subtle edges of yeasty dryness in among the juicy citrus and grape middleground.

It’s nicer than the Tesco Asti I had in my WSET class, which is the only other one I’ve ever tried. Outside that single experience, it’s so different from most other sparkling wines I’ve tried – let alone other wines – that there’s hardly a reference point.

In conclusion, this is jolly fine, damn cheap and would make a lovely glugging wine or kooky dessert wine.

Don’t serve it at weddings though – it would be far too sweet for a lot of people’s tastes.

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Meet the Author:
Alexander Velky
Alexander grew up on Anglesey, almost as far away from civilization as he’d have liked. He studied English at university and subsequently moved to Prague to teach it to Czech people for just long enough that he could say he’d done that. He then returned to the UK to do an MA in Professional Writing, and later moved to London by accident and worked in the music industry for a while. His interest in wine has been developing throughout. He took the WSET Intermediate exam, for which he was rewarded with a certificate and a pin badge, but he probably won't bother doing any more. He now lives in Pembrokeshire with his wife and daughter. He writes, and drinks, for a living. You can follow him on Twitter if that's how you choose to spend your time. Photograph by Léonie Keeble