Columnist, Food

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Prices are approximate. Check to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.

Muscadet is a relatively simple wine, with nice structure that makes it interesting even in ripe years such as 2009 and 2010, when acidity levels might be lower than normal. Some producers emphasizing particular vineyards and agricultural practices produce wines with more complexity and interest.

Domaine de l’Ecu, Expression de Gneiss, Sur Lie 2009


Muscadet Sevre et Maine, Loire Valley, France, $20

Muscadet de Sevre et Maine wines (Deb Lindsey/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST)

Winegrower Guy Bossard makes separate muscadet cuvees based on the soil types of his various vineyards, all of which are farmed according to biodynamic principles. His wines tend to be richer, fatter and riper than most muscadets, with juicy fruit flavors and an inherent mineral quality that gives them verve.

Kysela: Available in the District at MacArthur Beverages, Magruder’s, Rodman’s, Paul’s of Chevy Chase; on the list at Brasserie Beck. Available in Maryland at Bay Ridge Wine & Spirits in Annapolis, Pinehurst Wine Shoppe in Baltimore, Pine Orchard Wine in Ellicott City. Available in Virginia at Unwined in Alexandria and Wegmans in Dulles and Leesburg; on the list at L’Auberge Chez Francois in Great Falls. 

Clos de la Fine 2009


Muscadet de Grandlieu, Loire Valley, France, $14

Tasting like ripe melon, this wine has a stony mineral quality that gives it length and structure. Unfortunately, area retailers apparently do not agree with me, as only a few have been bold enough to stock it.

Bacchus: Available in the District at Modern Liquors. Available in Maryland at Wine Cellars of Annapolis and State Line Liquors in Elkton; on the list at Harry Browne’s in Annapolis.

Domaine de la Quilla, Sur Lie 2010


Muscadet Sevre et Maine, Loire Valley, France, $13

This may be the muscadet many area wine lovers first learned to appreciate, and it is textbook: crisp, citrusy and fresh, an ideal partner to warm-weather seafood salads or raw shellfish. It often can be found on sale below the retail price, making it an exceptional bargain.

Kacher/Washington Wholesale/Robins Cellars: Available in the District at Calvert Woodley, Dixie Liquor, MacArthur Beverages, Pearson’s Wine & Spirits, Rodman’s and various Whole Foods Market locations; on the list at Bistro La Bonne, BlackSalt, Brasserie Beck, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace and Sur la Place. Available in Maryland at Quarry Wine & Spirits in Baltimore; on the list at Mussel Bar in Bethesda. Available in Virginia at Balducci’s in Alexandria, the Wine House in Fairfax and Wine Cabinet in Reston; on the list at Brabo in Alexandria, Tuscarora Mill in Leesburg and Liberty Tavern in Arlington.

Chateau de la Bourdiniere Tradition 2010


Muscadet de Sevre et Maine, Loire Valley, France, $14

A crisp and stylish wine, this muscadet shows a bit more pineapple fruit than the typical melon flavors. Quite delicious.

Oslo Enterprise/Voila!: Available in the District at Chat’s Liquors and Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits. Available in Maryland at Eddie’s of Roland Park and Spirits of Mt. Vernon in Baltimore, State Line Liquors in Elkton and Victoria’s Fancy Foods in Severna Park; on the list at 13.5% Wine Bar in Baltimore and Cafe de Paris in Columbia.

Chereau Carre 2011

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Muscadet de Sevre et Maine, Loire Valley, France, $10

A delightful, simple muscadet that covers the bases: clean fruit, bracing structure and acidity that makes one want more.

M Touton Selection: Available in the District at Gandel’s Liquors, Hayden’s Liquor, Rodman’s and Sherry’s Fine Wine & Spirits. Available in Maryland at Bradley Food & Beverage in Bethesda, Nick’s of Clinton in Waldorf, Old Farm Liquors in Frederick and Rosewick Wine & Spirits in La Plata. Available in Virginia at Leesburg Vintner and Unwined in Alexandria.

Chateau de la Chesnaie Sur Lie 2010

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Muscadet de Sevre et Maine, Loire Valley, France, $11

From the same producer as the Chereau Carre, this wine, aged on its lees, shows a tad more complexity and body.

M Touton Selection: Widely available throughout the District, Maryland and Virginia.