Nomenclature

This is part of a series of posts about the wines offered at Slows BBQ during the summer of 2015

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2013 Muscadet, Domaine de la Pepière

Dry! Delicious! Do not make the common mistake, for this is completely unrelated to Muscat. Grown in rare granitic soils, the refreshment factor is off the charts. Mineral, tart, stone-scented and thrilling.
-the menu

I am certain of one thing. If Muscadet were not so easily confused with Muscat, a wine of this intrinsic merit would be priced out of the reach of the every day drinker. Dry wine drinkers avoid it in their haste, while those looking for syrupy sweet wine are invariably disappointed. The result is that Muscadet gets overlooked, and this jewel of wine agriculture must beg to be noticed. (Although that is changing.)

Why are the names so infuriatingly similar? Well, it’s France, and it’s wine. But remember that these names were set in the mists of time. Muscat was an esteemed variety which was scarcely available in and around the Loire delta where Muscadet is grown. To that wine drinking public, the term would have been aspirational.

And then there’s the root, musc, which translates to “musk” and which gave itself not only to Muscat, but also to the French word for nutmeg – noix de muscade. It’s not hard to imagine a medieval form of this Muscadet – hazy and frothy – bearing some notes reminiscent of the rare Indonesian spice.

This is not so much a wine for dabbling with at a wine tasting. It is a wine for drinking. In fact, of all the wines I have ever chosen to drink more than once, I’m sure I have consumed more bottles of Domaine de la Pepière Muscadet than any other.

Its aromatic character is actually not especially assertive, and for that reason it tends to agree with a wide variety of wine drinkers and situations. It will be served chilled, but it tastes fantastic at room temperature. Try it with a chicken sandwich, or anything else.

The finest wine blog on the internet has an article about Domaine de la Pepière. Read it.

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