The Demystified Vine

Taking the mystery out of wine exploration!

A good Muscadet soothes the soul, and to be even more frank, it also packs a good punch with a variety of holiday foods such as freshly-shucked oysters and light cheeses. Savoring this wine is easy with chevre or mild cheddar.

I recently had the chance to try Chateau du Coing de St Fiacre’s Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie – a wine we carry at the wine shop I work at.

For your education and entertainment, Muscadet comes from the most westerly region of the Loire Valley in France – most specifically in the Nantais area. This area practically touches the Atlantic Ocean, signalling that cultural dishes include lots of seafood. Muscadet Sevre et Maine AC is a smaller area within the region of Muscadet AC, where Melon Blanc, the grape that makes Muscadet’s wines, is widely planted. The soils in the Muscadet AC areas are a mix of rock: granite, gneiss, and schist. The term “sur lie” means the wine spent time on its lees or yeast cells. Leaving a wine “sur lie” imparts both a yeasty character and more body.

The Chateau du Coing de St Fiacre delightfully tickled my fancy because of its character. Clean on both bouquet and palate, this Muscadet had amusing notes of peaches and cream, freshly-picked apple, and Bartlett pear. Light in intensity but with good body, this wine glimmered with mineral hues – chalky, limestone, and wet rock notes. On the palate, fresh citrus fruits gave way to a Honeycrisp apple note.

Photo credit: Valerie Stride 2013

Photo credit: Valerie Stride 2013

At a price point of about $20 CAD, this is both an affordable wine for the holidays, and would impress family members alike alongside some veritable holiday nibbles.


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