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Never too late for muscadet & oysters

Posted by Ellen Bhang  October 30, 2012 09:05 AM

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When it comes to classic wine and food pairings, there are few we crave more than muscadet and oysters. So when we realized we had one more chance to partake of both as part of Muscadet Month, sponsored by the Loire Valley Wine Bureau,
we made a weekend detour to The Urban Grape in Chestnut Hill.
Jo-Ann at UG_Muscadet 102712.jpg
Stepping inside, we were delighted to find wine educator Jo-Ann Ross talking up this lively white wine. "Muscadet is a zesty, zippy white wine from Western France," she explained to customers, many of whom had their costumed trick-or-treating youngsters in tow. "It is made from melon de Bourgogne grapes, once grown in Burgundy centuries ago. It is a dry wine, not to be confused with sweet wines made from muscat grapes," she said.

When you think about where these grapes grow -- near the coast of Brittany where the Loire River meets the Atlantic -- it is easy to see how this wine evolved as a natural pairing with seafood, oysters in particular.
Mason Silkes_UG_Muscadet_102712.jpg
Attendees, eager to experience muscadet's affinity for oysters, had the opportunity to do so on the spot. Mason Silkes of Rhode Island-based American Mussel Harvesters, Inc.
shucked Canada Cup oysters from Prince Edward Island and placed them on an icy bed. Brightly salty up front, these bivalves possess a creamy texture and a saline-sweet finish that called for another sip of muscadet.
Canada Cup Oysters_UG_Muscadet_102712.jpg

A favorite among the line-up of wines was a 2011 Louis Metaireau Petit Mouton Muscadet Sevre et Maine ($12). The bottle's label says "sur lie," which refers to wine kept on the lees (spent yeast) all winter long before bottling in the spring. Overwintering on the lees produces rounded, saline aromas and the barest hint of spritz.
As trick-or-treaters emptied the candy basket, we pledged not to forgo the pleasure of this pairing once Muscadet Month is over.

Ellen Bhang

About By the Glass

Ellen Bhang writes about food and wine and reviews Cheap Eats restaurants for the Globe. Wine is the focus of her degree in the Gastronomy master's program at Boston University. She can be reached at


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