As the summer heat winds down (hopefully) here in the east, this week I opened a delicious bottle of Muscadet (pronounced “moose-kah-day”).
Located in the Loire Valley region of France, Melon de Bourgogne is the only grape variety permitted here to make this white wine. Because of this, the grape is sometimes just referred to as Muscadet. Other grapes are grown in this area but they must have a specific designation when they are used.
Not to be confused with the Muscat grape used to make Moscato, Muscadet is a dry, light-bodied wine with some citrus notes and high acidity. It is also known to have some briny notes due to the breezes coming off the sea. When bottled there is a small trace of carbon dioxide left, which gives Muscadet a slight effervescence.
Great as an aperitif or paired with some soft cheeses, Muscadet also goes well with chicken or fish, but especially shellfish. So belly up to a bowl of steamed clams in butter and garlic, chunk of bread in one hand and a glass of Muscadet in the other. What a great way to say good-bye to summer!