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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Seafood "quandary": Dorices Muscadet Sevre-Maine Choisie at your service!

Honestly folks, I've lived my entire life in San Diego and until recently, San Diego hardly figured in anyone’s mind as a culinary destination. However in the last 10 years, San Diego chefs (natives and newcomers alike) have redefined the local dining landscape. That said, these folks have drawn on several local strengths. First and foremost, San Diego’s local [Seafood] bounty has few equals: the freshest seafood, four-season produce from some of the country’s most renowned organic farms, and local specialty purveyors of cheese and chocolate. But Seafood and what to pair with it wine-wise is the focus of this review.

This wine I'm about to review is what I would call the underdog of the wine world, not often picked for the first or even second string when a restaurant wine list is being compiled or being shopped for by consumers. While San Diego is blessed with an abundance of fresh fish and shellfish, yet one of the world's great Seafood wines is about as well-known here as snow storm in July.

What is that you may ask, none other than Muscadet, a white wine from France's Loire region that's as crisp as a freshly built Cub-Cadet mower [just screams Spring is here] and as fine a complement to all manner of good things from the sea as the water they once swam in. Produced from the humble Melon de Bourgogne grape, Muscadet's appeal is not in its great complexity but its refreshing, straightforward lemon-lime and grapefruit flavors and bracing minerality.

First Swirl: After pouring this wine into my glass I found in looking at the core it was a pale green [think honey dew melon] colored core and followed by a watery rim.

First Sniff: Sticking my fat half Irish nose into the glass I find offers a mix of lime, thyme, and lemon verbena notes.

First Sip: After giving this wine a good swirl in the glass I found this wine to be a delightfully refreshing and dominated by citrus, salt, chalk, and green apple. While one can’t call it complex, its combination of textural polish, mouth-watering purity, and invigoration. Nicely textured from beginning to end with nice weight and a fantastically long, juicy finish.

Show me the money: Part of this wines appeal can be found in its price, while many Muscadets may display the crispness of a brand-spanking-new greenback, it costs remarkably few of them, almost always less than $15 and coming in at all of $12.99 is the 2007 Dorices Muscadet Sevre-Maine Choisie.

Where to purchase:  This wine can be purchased through your local San Diego BevMo, just click on the link to find a store near you that has this wine in stock and as of todays writing this there are still a few left in stock.

Pairing Choices: To [California] palates which have grown up and have become accustomed to big, fruity, oaky, creamy [and there's nothing wrong with that] Chardonnays, it will seem a bit austere, but pour it with oysters or stone crab or lobster and you'll be seduced by its simple yet elegant charms. That tart, steely edge makes it a particularly good match for rich seafood dishes; oysters Rockefeller, coquilles St. Jacques, Lobster Thermidor, and the like.

With/without Food: Like I was mentioning above this is not your cocktail type wine to sit back and sip with a bunch of friends, while engaged in innocuous conversations, oh no this wine should be your go-to Sea Food paring champion. One sip as a chaser with some fresh oysters will harken you back to simpler, less contentious times and enthrall you with a sense of the sublime. A match made in heaven!

About the Label: Two things on Domaine's label you want to look for when buying Muscadet. One is the qualifier "Sevre et Maine," which means the wine was produced in the sub region considered home to the highest-quality Muscadets. Two are the words "sur lie," meaning the wine has been aged on the lees [no not the pants you're wearing], the leavings of the fermentation process, further developing its flavors and even giving it a slight spritz [bubbly characteristic].

My Recommendation: Go get yourself some of this very delightful wine and grab some Seafood and have yourself a party. This is a great wine to purchase by the case as it's easy on the wallet and pleasurable on the palate. In my mind this represents a great value and a definite keeper to have in your wine cellar. Another QPR winning wine, that will make your next SeaFood daliance [a quick flirtatious or amorous], a wonderful experience. Until next time Cheers everyone!

Other Voices: Okay folks I know my tiny little opinion about wine pales in comparison [and these guys are fond of reminding everyone of this] to the likes of Heimoff, Parker and Tanzer, so this where I include their reviews or opinions about the wine I reviewed and will hopefully encourage you to give this wine a swirl: So a Mr. Parker has added this to his list of Wine Bargains: The World's Best Wine Values Under $25,  here's his review.

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