Over the last few weeks, we’ve been spending a lot of time discovering sweeter wines that really pack a fruity punch. Today, however, we’re going to step over into the dryer end of the taste spectrum and explore one of the most mouth-puckering whites around, Muscadet. This French classic is known for its supreme dryness and works extremely well when paired with all manner of foods.
Muscadet is made from Melon De Bourgogne grapes which thrive in colder climates. The vast majority of Muscadet comes from France; however, a small amount is produced in the cooler vineyards located in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.
While it’s extremely enjoyable as drinking wine, Muscadet is also often used in French cooking. In particular, Muscadet is used to make Beurre Blanc sauce.
The most notable thing about Muscadet wine is its intense dryness. The flavor has been described as almost salty and only small traces of fruit notes are present. When tasting Muscadet, you can expect to taste notes of lemon, lime, tart apples, and an almost sea-like saline quality.
The wine is extremely light and has barely any body at all. Conversely, it has an extremely high acidity and a total lack of sweetness. As the result, the wine is extremely crisp and refreshing.
While fresh bottles of Muscadet have a light and zesty texture, aging the wine results in a creamy texture and an increase in the fruit flavors.
The saline notes of Muscadet make it an ideal wine to pair with savory foods. It also works as an excellent palate cleanser after particularly rich or intense meals and courses.
As it is a white wine, it’s hardly surprising that Muscadet works very well when pairing with seafood. Mussels, oysters, scallops, and shrimp are popular foods to eat with the wine. Additionally, the wine works well when paired with salmon and chicken.
In terms of vegetables, Muscadet is also fairly versatile. Try pairing the wine with zesty veggies like spring onions, kohlrabi, celeriac, corn, and garlic shoots.
Finally, if you’re planning a fondue, Muscadet is the perfect wine to serve with that cheesy classic.
Wines to try
Muscadet is a fairly affordable wine and you can expect to find a good bottle for between $12 and $25.
Gadais Père et Fils Les Perrières Muscadet ($24)
This wood-fermented wine is beautifully aged with rich texture.
Château La Fessadière Muscadet ($9)
This extremely affordable bottle tastes fancier than its price would suggest.
Andre-Michel Bregeon Muscadet Sur Lie Reserve ($26)
Fresh and acidic, this wine has a strong taste and an impressive amount of complexity.