The Perfect Wine for Summer

21 Jul

If you read my blog you probably are aware of the concept of carbonic maceration.  I won’t go into the technical details of it because I want to focus on one aspect of this process–namely, that some of the grapes at the bottom of the vat are crushed under the weight of all the other grapes and juice on top on them.

I feel that way about this blog.

The reason I feel this way about my blog is not because I don’t enjoy writing on my blog–nothing could be farther from the truth.  The fact is, however, that I undertook to write a number of blog posts–reviews of wine I received, reviews of books I received, reviews of wine paraphernalia I received–at the close of the spring semester and haven’t yet gotten around to writing them.  If you’re one of those fine, generous people who gave me things to review: I apologize sincerely!  I will write and post my reviews very soon.

Whew!  With that out of the way I feel as if my soul can now be made into delicious, fruity (yet serious and profound) Beaujolais cru.  I have been drinking a fair amount of wine during this second half of summer, what with my being in Wilmington, Delaware during the weekdays and DC during the weekends and all.  I’ve had some fantastic aged Rully and some great Pinots.  However, I want to devote this Phoenix of a post to a simple, inexpensive, but altogether ravishing white wine: the 2009 Bonnet-Huteau Muscadet Sèvre et Maine “Les Gautronnieres” ($11.99, available at Ansonia Wines and Weygandt Wines, both in DC).

(Thanks to the fabulous Rebecca for this picture, taken with her brand-new Nikon D90!)

I worked at Ansonia this past Saturday and decided to pour both a light red and a white.  I decided to pour this wine because I had never had a Muscadet I’ve liked–till now.

Muscadet is produced in the Loire Valley (site of excellent Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, and apparently Pinot?) from the Melon de Bourgogne grape.  Muscadet is produced in three sub-appellations, of which Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine is one.  Although it’s a bit obscure, Muscadet has been acknowledged by some gourmets (and gourmands!) as the perfect oyster wine.

This wine has a nice hint of spritziness, not quite as pronounced as in a Txakolina, but perhaps around the same amount as some Vinho Verdes.  Very nice citrus stone fruit nose.  Clear, light body with some citrus and very pronounced minerality–definitely not like a Chablis or Sancerre but still pretty assertive.  Not the longest finish, but one that ends when it should and ends well–sort of like this.  It avoids that plasticine taste I hate in many inexpensive wines, and when it warms a bit it even seems like it could be a Chard.  A nice ending indeed.

This is THE PERFECT wine for summer.  Forget rosés (and you know how much I love rosés)–this is what you want to drink when it’s hot and humid outside.  It’s a wonderful aperitif and would go well with seafood, especially shellfish and ESPECIALLY oysters (when they’re in season again, which is generally any month containing the letter “R”).  This is a wine you want to pick up by the case and drink by the bottle.

But, as I seek to foster online conversation about wine: what are some of your favorite wines for summer?

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4 Responses to “The Perfect Wine for Summer”

  1. Katmere July 22, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    Would you say it is closer to vinho verde than a trad. muscadet? My first worry was that it would be too sweet, but your review rather crushes that notion.

    All the foodie mags do seem to have gotten together on the rosé talking point, to an extent that it almost off-putting. I can barely turn around but to hear praises sung.

    Regardless. The best summer wine I have had so far, for those as white wine wary as I, was a Pecorino Colleventano. It is an Italian wine. It was described as a white that drinks like a red, but lighter. I preferred it to most rosés because it held onto qualities I like better, while still being refreshing and light. I do not have gobs of details on it. My guess is that it either is relatively rare or something that typically goes by another name.

  2. vinicultured July 23, 2010 at 8:13 pm #

    Hey Kat,

    Hmm–perhaps like a cross between a Sauv Blanc and a Vinho Verde? It’s definitely not sweet–it’s fantastic!

    Indeed. In the words of Hansel, “rosé is so hot right now.” I can’t help but feel a little bit happier when I am holding a nice cool glass of rosé.

    I’ve never heard of or had Pecorino Colleventano: it makes me think of cheese. =) If you could somehow procure a bottle and bring it back to DC for me to try I would not only be indebted to you, I would also provide you with return alcoholic consideration!

  3. Shea July 31, 2010 at 2:56 am #

    You’ve never had a muscadet you’ve liked before this? Ridiculous. You must seek out Domaine L’Ecu or Louis Papin. Both Exceptional and completely dry, very complex and amazingly priced. Probably below $20 in your market for a wine worth twice as much.

    • vinicultured August 2, 2010 at 10:03 pm #

      I agree–it was ridiculous, especially since the one I had was so delicious. I will look out for the two you recommended!

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