01/01/2018 – Martini, Asti Spumante

(2018) Made from the Moscato grapes with fermentation stopped so that plenty of sweetness remains, this is a frothy, fun, not too serious low-alcohol wine that's the perfect antidote to too much Christmas indulgence: with only 7.5% alcohol it is light as a feather, and though a mass-produced version of a style made in various guises by top artisan producers of the Asti area in Piedmont, this version from the giant Martini label is really very good. It hits all the icing sugar and peachy fruit notes well, aromatic with elderflower and fresh grapes, the frothy mousse is lively, and it has just enough acidity to counter the full-on sweetness. To sip on its own, with delicate desserts, or even to finish off the mince pies it might just work well.


      1. Lidl have employed Richard Bampfield claiming him to be a Master of Wine as assessed by the Institute of Masters of Wine . He gives 84/100 for Lidl’s Allini Asti which I too think is less dislikeable than Martini’s Asti πŸ˜‰
        What is your view of the Institute of Masters of Wine?

        1. Hi Roman. First of all, I can vouch for the fact that Richard is indeed an MW! He’s doesn’t make any wine buying decisions for Lidl, his role seems to be to rate the wines for Lidl’s marketing materials. As I say, I haven’t tasted the Lidl Asti so can’t compare with the Martini version, but obviously I couldn’t agree the latter is “dislikeable”! I confess one of my main criteria for choosing it instead of one of the fine Asti’s from smaller producers was it’s widespread availability and the Β£6 price, but I think it is a well made and well balanced wine of its commercial style. As to my thoughts on MW? Too big a topic to go into here. It has never tempted me, though other MWs have suggested/encouraged me to go for it: it certainly seems to open career doors and opportunities in the wine trade, but all sorts of people are MWs, some I respect more than others for their palates and general character! πŸ™‚

          1. Thanks for that. I tried the Martini Asti a couple of years ago and perhaps in ignorance was not prepared for its sweetness. I am ok usually with sweet wines, but … anyway someone brought a bottle to my Christmas party and rather than passing it on πŸ˜‰ I will give it another go. The trouble with Lidl and Richard is often the wine described and given a decently high score is not to be found in the wine bin but rather bottles of something else. Looking forward to your next recommendations πŸ™‚

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