There are times when you just need a little bit of sparkling in your life to get things going. The bubble and pop of a cork that sets the night off right, and refreshes everything. The only problem is, how do you get the right explosion of fizz for under a hamilton? The folks over at Total Wine seem to think they have the answer in Casa Sant’Orsola Asti, comparing it as an alternative to Martini & Rossi Asti. Those are pretty big boots to fill, so how does it compare?
Sight: Very much gold, similar to gold leaf. The bubbles are small and plentiful.
Smell: The nose is very subtle with lychee, peach, nectarine, and honey. There are also touches of honeycrisp apples, honeysuckle blossoms, and wet stone. [You might find more, regrettably, I clearly have the wrong glassware.]
Sip: It starts out with a crisp crack of light sweetness, but before becoming rather acidic, and then wandering back to sweet. The bubbles become very aggressive, foaming vigorously, taking over the mouth feel in a froth. Similar to it’s nose, there are plenty of honey and nectarine, but with more subtle lemon pith, fall apple, and minerality.
Savor: The finish ends almost as sharply as it starts. Tart elements of lemon linger complimented with touches of sweetness and apple peel.
Overall, if you like a subtle sweetness to your sparkle, then Casa Sant’Orsola Asti is the bubbler for you. At just under $10, this wine is thoroughly quaffable. The biggest shortcoming that could be cited are a lack of complexity. For the most part though, this is overlookable, and most will have no trouble enjoying the stonefruit, honey, and light minerality.
Verdict: Fizzy Explosion