Astoria’s “Alisia”: A Crisp Shellfish Partner
The rich golden hue of Astoria’s 2014 ”Alisia” Pinot Grigio comes as somewhat of a surprise for this nice Italian value, but there are no complaints from this end of the table! Alisia is simply a friendly wine that tastes as pleasing as it looks.
After a good chilling in the fridge, it works quite well with king crab legs along with a little drawn butter. Immediately, it’s golden color in the glass begins to compliment such shellfish delights. A very nice start.
Then, the bouquet of a freshly-opened bottle begins with a peach, pear, then developing an inviting background of honey. Even though this character is delicately expressed, this bouquet style is bold and different as compared to many Italian Pinot Grigios.
On the palate, more honey comes to the front. This is followed (especially on the first taste) by an interesting crisp mineral backbone that speaks of wet limestone or even a fresh breeze along the seashore. A character that makes it go quite well with those delicately succulent crab entrees.
One of the things that also stands out with the wine is its acid balance. There is no extreme tartness or racy acidity in this one. Astoria refers to a fermentation process step called “Tartaric Stabilization” being used during production. This is probably what makes Alisia a little softer on the finish than expected and free of any traces of sediment in the bottle.
Note: Do not serve with foods that are heavy in garlic or other aromatic spices. This wine’s character does not stand up to such bold cuisine expressions. Complement the delicate nature with lighter cuisines.
When locating a bottle of Alisia it may be necessary to check online first. Total Wine has it in stock nationwide, but it is just being set up in the Phoenix Area, possibly making it necessary to order ahead. However, it may be worth the effort considering its attractive price at under $12.