Isaac James Baker writes poetry, short stories, novels and non-fiction. He drinks a lot of great wine.
Sometimes he does both activities simultaneously.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
If you don't know muscadet, you're missing out. Grown in the western part of France's Loire Valley and made from the relatively unknown white melon de bourgogne grape, muscadet offers some of the best bang-for-your-buck white wines anywhere in the world. The wines frequently feature laser-like acid, green apple and citrus fruit and a distinct sense of minerality. At their best, muscadets have an uncanny ability to translate sea breeze, salt water and sea shells into a glass. And as someone who grew up on the beach, there's not much more I can ask of a white wine.
Because of the insane heat wave we've been getting here on the East Coast, I find myself looking more than ever to muscadet for refreshment. Last week I opened a very modestly-priced bottle ($12 at Weygandt Wines!) and experienced just that. The 2011 Domaine de Beauregard (Laurent Gregoire) Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine Sur Lie. It showed aromas of sweet peach, sea breeze and chalk. The palate is light and tangy, with lime zest and green apple flavors. There's not as much creaminess in this wine as I get from other sur lie wines (which spend some time on the yeasts), but it's by no means a thin wine. There's a nice canned peach flavor as well. It's not the most complex wine, but if you're in the mood for a salad or oysters on a hot summer evening, you could do a hell of a lot worse. I gave it 83 points.
If you've tried a muscadet recently, I'd love to hear your thoughts.