Originally published at The Nice Drinks In Life: http://thenicedrinksinlife.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-white-knight-2010-california-moscato.html
It is not every day that a proud New Yorker waxes poetic about the West Coast, but as my beloved readers have surely figured out by now, I will take any excuse. Of course, after tasting this wine by The Other Guys, the words flow much more easily.
Ah, California. It sort of has everything, doesn't it? Major metropolises, sprawling suburbs, gigantic farms, and acre after acre of pristine nature. Mountains, valleys, and flatlands; oceans, lakes, and desert. Naturally, this diversity extends to the lifestyles as well, and to dine in California can involve just about any dish, of any food, prepared any style, from any origin, traditional or cutting-edge, served in any setting.
But it will definitely include wine.
California has been making wine ever since the friars first ventured north from Mexico so many centuries ago. Wine is in the land there, in the air, the culture, the people's blood. The one state produces about ninety percent of the wine in the entire United States. If California were its own country, it would be the fourth-largest wine-producing nation in the world. It is emblematic of New World viticulture, and rightly so. And what could be more symbolic of the entire enterprise of California wine-making today than a nice bottle of something from Napa Valley?
Well, actually, Napa accounts for only four percent of wine made in California. But - bother the details! - it is still the most famous region in the state. And, sipping the White Knight California Moscato goes a long way to explaining why. The wine is a very pale, straw yellow, almost clear at certain angles. Its nose quite exemplifies that sweet scent for which we love Muscat. It is citric but not acidic, namely orange in this case. The palate, too, is mostly orange, but also includes some passionfruit and other tropical fruits. The wine is full-bodied; there is a small bite right as it first hits the tip of the tongue, which is the Pinot Grigio saying hello, and then it is all smooth from there. During the finish the wine starts to approach other fruit flavors. It is almost like swallowing one of those pink Starburst candies.
After breathing for twenty minutes, the wine becomes slightly altered, but is still mostly orange and very smooth. The nose acquires a hint of watermelon scent. The sipping notes are still very sweet, but the tropical flavors have left, leaving the taste more citric and a little more tart. The finish is diminished, but there are still some notes of fresh citrus, apple, and pear lurking about.
So maybe next time The Other Guys can use fifteen percent Pinot Grigio instead of twenty. Anyone not looking for such trivia will not even notice, and it is all a matter of taste anyway. The bottom line is, this sweet Muscat is absolutely delicious. Sip it lakeside in the sun; sip it where the rivers run. Sip it on a farm with hay; sip it brunching by the Bay. Sip it on a mountain summit; sip it on the beach and bum it. Sip it over in the Valley; heck, sip it anywhere in Cali. Or anywhere else, for that matter. One can hardly go wrong.