Muscadet is a white French wine made from the Muscadet grape, which is formally called Melon de Bourgogne, often referred to simply as melon pronounced “meh-Lawn”. This French white wine is primarily made at the western end of the Loire Valley, near the city of Nantes in the Pays de la Loire region of France.
All muscadet wine produced in France will have an “AOC” designation stamped on the label. “AOC” stands for Appellation d’origine contrôlée, which translates to “controlled term of origin”. France has a very strict law that stresses that AOC products shall be produced in a consistent and traditional manner with ingredients from specifically classified producers in designated geographical areas. The products must further be aged at least partially in the respective designated area. In this particular case, Muscadet has three “AOC’s” which are:
1.) Sèvre et Maine
2.) Coteaux de la Loire
3.) Côtes de Grandlieu
Much of the best Muscadet comes from the Sèvre et Maine AOC area and all labels from this particular AOC will say “Sur Lie”, which means that the wine stayed in contact with its sediment for a period of time to give the Muscadet more complexity of flavors.
French Muscadet is a fairly light tasting style of white wine. However, most possess a zippy tart lemon-lime flavor that is great for sipping on a sizzling summer day. Muscadet is a terrific companion with shellfish-especially oysters and clams. If the raw bar is your thing, a French Muscadet is the perfect marriage.
When shopping for Muscadet, make sure to purchase the youngest ones that you can find because this white wine in most cases, does not age well.
Chill well and enjoy!