Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Muscadet: the perfect seafood white

Muscadet was one of the first serious wines I tasted. Well, perhaps not exactly 'serious' but 'authentic'. I was introduced to it by a Labour peeress, no less, who took me to her favourite wine merchant, The Old Chelsea Wine Stores in Lamb's Conduit Street. I was young and very impressionable and thought it was utterly amazing to buy wine that way.

Since then I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Muscadet Sèvre et Maine sur Lie which is generally held to be the best of the Muscadet appellations although, like many French wines, it's not that fashionable these days. But it has many virtues, not least of which is that it's a terrific seafood wine, particularly with oysters and the classic plateau de fruits de mer. And it's very good with sushi.

This is one I picked up the other day in Oddbins, a 2009 from Domaine de la Foliette. It's fabulously crisp and clean - just a perfect bracing drink for the dog days of summer. The Domaine is a member of the Terra Vitis association which means that the wine is produced sustainably with respect for the environment. It's also just 12% ABV, an alcohol level you all too rarely see these days.

It sells in Oddbins for £8.99 a bottle or £7.19 if you buy a case. I'm not sure I'd want that many but it's good to have a bottle or two in your wine rack.

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