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Senior editor MaryAnn Worobiec has been with Wine Spectator since 1997. She is the lead taster for Australia and New Zealand wines and California Petite Sirah, Sauvignon Blanc and "other" whites.
MaryAnn Worobiec

A Heavenly Pairing for Dessert

Ca’ Momi Moscato California 2008

MaryAnn Worobiec
Posted: February 11, 2011

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.

WineSpectator.com members: Get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated Moscatos, plus a quick list of Top Values among dessert wines.

Troy Peterson
Burbank, CA —  February 11, 2011 3:23pm ET
My wife and I love these kinds of pairings. They can be very difficult, and I tend to just enjoy dessert wine by itself. We were at Porterhouse Bistro in Beverly Hills last week and we ordered the apple crepes. The waiter brought out two complimentary glasses of Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise (unsure of the producer) and it was the perfect foil! It had all the intense aromas and flavors of a Sauternes but the lithe body of a Moscato d'Asti. Wonderful! Thanks for sharing MaryAnn!

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