Muscadet

Muscadet is a white French wine made at the western end of the Loire Valley near the city of Nantes. It is made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape, often referred to as simply Melon, which was initially planted in the region in or before the 17th century. 

Melon de Bourgogne is a relatively neutral grape; however, winemaking techniques have evolved in the region to adapt to the grape's limitation and bring out more flavor and complexity. The most well-known of these techniques is sur lie aging, where the wine stays in contact with the dead yeast cells left over after fermentation (the lees). Since the 1990s, there have been strict laws limiting the use of sur lie on labels of Muscadet. 

Muscadet wines are often light-bodied and almost always dry with very little, if any, residual sugar. Left over carbon dioxide from the bottling process can leave the wines with a slight "prickly" sensation. For the most part, Muscadets are fresh and crisp, while Muscadets that have been aged sur lie can have very subtle "yeasty" aromas. 

Muscadet is noted for its pairing with seafood, especially oysters, as well as lobster, shrimp and mullet. Their moderate alcohol levels (always under 12%) allow them to complement many types of dishes without overwhelming them. The light, crisp acidity can stand up to rich, creamy dishes. 

Cheeses that go well with Muscadet include herbed Boursin, Brick, Bucheron, Dry Jack, sheep-milk Feta, Gouda, Havarti, Mahon, Neufchatel, Pave Affinois and Raclette.