Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Muscadet and Shellfish - Made for Each Other

Muscadet de Sevre et Maine as it is officially called is a great summer white made from the little known Melon de Bourgogne grape. Equally at home as an accompaniment to shellfish of all varieties, or as a before dinner drink with appys, it is usually delicate but delicious. It hails from the lower Loire Valley and sometimes spends it's first winter "sur lie", which means that it was aged on its lees or dead yeast cells, thus adding a touch of richness. Last night's Muscadet was from Domaine de la Landelle, an import of the Maximum Wine Company. It cost me $12.99.
2009 was a wonderful vintage in the Loire and the Landelle featured beautiful appley aromas with a touch of toastiness from the "sur lie" aging. In the mouth, it was light and delicate with lovely apple and pear flavors and a finishing note of saline. We enjoyed it with one of Janet's specialities -
fettucine with mussels and fresh peas from the garden. This is a recipe we found in the NY Times and it has become a house favorite. A Muscadet such as this one or a nice Soave (as suggested by Eric Asimov, the wine writer for the NY Times and one of my favorites) both pair nicely with this dish. Cheers.

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