Muscadet Wine - Vin de Pays Nantais
We can remember Sébastien Chéreau's grandfather Etienne tending his vines by horse long before it was a fashionable 21st Century throwback. It was simply the most practical and economic means of getting the job done. Finding their premises at 'Le Boucher' in the backwaters of the Sèvre et Maine in the days before satellite navigation was, however, a cartographical challenge that induced many a row between driver and co-pilot. Fortunately, tasting chez Chéreau has never been an arduous task as there are only 2 wines to sample and both have been unfailingly reliable over 46 years whatever the vagaries of the vintage.
Their unimpeachable Muscadet 'Sur Lie' is a cornerstone of this list and sports a lovely label depicting a Bacchanalian couple designed by Sir Quentin Blake, long before he was ennobled. It has a bracing, ozone-fresh bouquet and zesty, citrus-edged palate with a crisp, clean finish. It is ideally suited to seafood: mussels and oysters spring to mind. Sébastien's Gros Plant is pellucid, pale and bone-dry with palate-cleansing acidity and is equally well-suited to fruits de mer. Bring on the bivalves!