The latest restaurant to join downtown Napa’s Oxbow Public Market is Ca’ Momi, a triple-threat enoteca, pizzeria and pasticceria. The area is not suffering from a lack of wood-fired pizzas (Azzurro and Oenotri, in particular, stand out), but it’s great to have Ca’ Momi as an option, especially in this bustling public market, where I can meet a friend for lunch and pick up some local groceries for dinner in the same trip.
I was there for lunch recently, sharing some tasty pizza with a friend (the Diavolo with spicy salame really hit the spot). Recovering from a cold, I opted for a bitter Italian soda and not a glass of wine with lunch. But when the topic of dessert came up, I was defenseless. Ca’ Momi’s pastries are heavenly, and a milk and honey custard oozing out of a cream puff pastry ring was suddenly before us with two forks.
Owner Dario De Conti suggested a glass of Ca’ Momi Moscato California 2008 ($5 a glass) with the dessert. (He is also the winemaker for the Ca’ Momi line of wines, which are distributed around the country.) As much as I love Moscato for its aromatics and refreshing carbonation, my previous experience with it as a dessert wine has fallen flat—it can overwhelm (or work jarringly against) a sweet dish. I tend to prefer a glass by itself.
I was right to trust Dario, because the dessert and the wine together could not have been more harmonious. The wine was wonderfully perfumed, with plenty of floral, peach and spice notes. It offered a refreshing foil to the rich dessert. The finish is what really sold me—the lingering creamy texture of the custard and the aromatics filling my mouth showed me that I should be more open-minded about Moscato’s potential. I rated it 87 points, non-blind.