“Great Muscadet is available, and great Muscadet approaches the realm of great wine. Great Muscadet is the strangest normal white wine I know, expressing tremendously complex flavors and aromas, many of which stay outside the sphere of linguistically renderable. And great Muscadet costs less than $20 a bottle.”
These are not my words, nor are they the words of someone who I know to be a blood relative, and so I am heartened this morning to know that there are people in the Universe who I have yet to meet who share so completely my love of this fine region. The above appears in Joe Appel’s column on wine in the Portland Press alongside many insights from Paul Chartrand of Chartrand Imports, our supplier.
Appel dives into the question of what to pair with Muscadet and like anyone who spends some time really tasting the wine, he fast concludes that oysters are for the entry level wines and that options beyond bivalves are myriad. Good timing, as our dinner at the James Beard House last night featured Granite 2010 from magnum, that Chef Edward Kim of Ruxbin paired with Pan-Roasted Branzino with Grilled Romaine Hearts, Quail Egg, Celeriac Purée, Caesar Dressing, Shaved Parmesan, Golden Raisins, and Almonds. Myriad, indeed.
Joe concludes with a wonderful description of just how hard these wines are to describe:
“They are both truly like Chablis, though with less bone density, more ethereal. You think you’ve grasped it, then it slips away. What is that? Brown sugar? Underripe pineapple? Seeds? Hard to know. The fruit is just so complex, almost crunchy and juicy simultaneously, but difficult to place terms and analogues on. This is what great Muscadet teaches — nothing in the end belongs to anything else. That there are no cognates.”
The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.
Joe Appel works at Rosemont Market in Maine. His blog is soulofwine.com, and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org