Muscadet sounds like a variety - easily confused with the unrelated Muscat family of grapes. In fact Muscadet is a style and an Appellation (area) where the grape used is called Melon de Bourgogne. Melon was a refugee from Burgundy that settled France’s Western Loire Valley 300 years ago and where, despite maritime dampness, it thrives and still almost exclusively lives (apart from the odd U.S. planting). Typically it produces crisp, clean whites - and slightly more textured ‘Sur Lie’ examples - which, like most Loire wines, are perfect with seafood and oysters. Weirdly the neutral Melon grape produces little or no ‘musque’ perfume - unlike Muscat grapes, which do - so one wonders how Muscadet got that name. Perhaps a local noble was quoted while pretending to have a nose for wine…?
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