Tag Archives: Muscadet

Update: Porch wine for the long, hot summer

porch wine
“I found the porch — you bring the wine. What does the WC suggest?”

With record temperatures in much of the country this summer, it’s time to update the blog’s porch wine post

Over the years, I’ve gotten less than favorable comments about the idea of porch wine — because, of course, wine is entirely too serious for porch sipping. Sigh. Is it any wonder I worry about the future of the wine business?

Which is just more wine snobbery. Why should the pleasure of a shaded porch and the hint of a cool breeze be reserved for iced tea, beer, and whatever else is currently popular? I find the idea of porch wine especially relevant this summer, what with the record-breaking heat in much of the country, the pandemic, and all of the other foolishness we have had to endure. So, this porch wine update.

So know this about porch wine: It’s about lighter wines, red and white (and of course, rose), that are lower in alcohol and that offer relief from the heat. The idea with a porch wine is to drink something that won’t make the sweat bead on your forehead. The blog’s original porch post is here, and there is even a porch wine terms post.

And it’s OK to add an ice cube. Honest.

The Beachhouse Sauvignon Blanc 2020 ($10, purchased, 13%): This white is a simple, not too grapefruit-y South African sauvignon blanc, which has an almost pleasant bitterness in the back. The minute I tasted it, I knew it was perfect for this post. Imported by Pacific Highway Wines & Spirits

Moillard Chablis Coquillage 2018 ($25, purchased, 13%): Yes, this is expensive (though without the Trump tariff, the price may come down). But it’s also a perfect porch wine — well-made chardonnay from the Chablis region of France that is flinty, lemony, crisp. Imported by Advantage International

Stemmari Sicilia Rose 2019 ($8, purchased, 12%): There’s nothing especially Italian about this pink; it’s just well-made rose in the international style — think Washington state. That means fresh, fruity (strawberry), and clean, but not much esle. Still, it is more than enjoyable. Imported by Prestige Wine Imports

Domaine de la Pépière Muscadet 2019 ($16, purchased, 12%): Well-executed French white (made with the underrated melon de bourgogne grape) that is round in the mouth, but not soft. There’s a bit of structure and apple and pear fruit. Imported by LDM Wines

Photo: “Porch” by sonjalovas is licensed under CC BY 2.0

More about porch wine:
Memorial Day and rose 2021
Wine when the air conditioning is replaced
Wine of the week: Vinho verde 2021
Wine of the week: Vision Gruner Veltliner 2019

Wine of the week: Domaine de Beauregard Muscadet 2016

Beauregard MuscadetThe Domaine de Beauregard Muscadet is cheap, enjoyable French white wine as summer arrives

The irony of today’s wine world of plenty is that the plenty for most of us is plenty of chardonnay, plenty of sauvignon blanc, and plenty of pinot grigio. If we want something else white, and we don’t have a quality local retailer, we’re stuck. Because wines like the Beauregard Muscadet are worth drinking.

The Domaine de Beauregard Muscadet ($10, purchased, 12%) is from the French region of Muscadet de Sevre-et-Maine and made with the wonderfully named melon de bourgogne grape. It’s an unpretentious, weeknight dinner kind of wine that the French have been drinking for a couple of centuries, but that has not received the attention it deserves in the U.S. Because, of course, we have chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and pinot grigio.

The Beauregard Muscadet is everything this kind of wine should be – an almost floral aroma, a little lemon fruit, a softish middle, and some minerality on the finish. It’s an ideal warm weather and porch wine to chill and enjoy – lighter, lower in alcohol, and incredibly versatile. Drink it on its own, or with almost any summer dinner – roasted chicken breasts and couscous, for one, or even crabcakes.

In this, it’s $10 wine that won’t win any awards, but will make the people who buy it quite happy. And that should be the goal for every wine, shouldn’t it?

Imported by Weygant-Metzler

 

Mini-reviews 83: Muscadet, Masseria Surani, Toad Hollow, Chateau Ste. Michelle

muscadetReviews of wines that don’t need their own post, but are worth noting for one reason or another. Look for it on the final Friday of each month.

Domaine de la Quilla Muscadet 2014 ($13, purchased, 12%): Muscadet is under-appreciated in this country, not only because the name is so different but because the style — clean, tart, and lemony without a trace of softness — isn’t popular. This is an excellent example of Muscadet (made with the equally unappreciated melon de bourgone grape in the Loire region of France), though it would be better a couple of bucks cheaper.

Masseria Surani Ares 2012 ($10, purchased, 13%): Not much Italian style in this red blend from the Puglia region in the bootheel; it’s mostly fruit forward (cherry) in the international style. But as Cellar Tracker user Merky_Waters wrote: “This is a nice break from all the California blends on the market. No earth, definitely fruit forward but not too clumsy and not sweet.” Why someone in Puglia would emulate California is a question for another day.

Toad Hollow Rose 2015 ($14, sample, 11.5%): Better than previous vintages and closer to what it was when this California rose was one of the great cheap wines of all time, but still missing something — and the price increase from last year doesn’t help. You can buy much better roses for $4 or $5 less. Looks for lots of strawberry fruit, but not much else.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Pinot Gris 2014 ($11, purchased, 13%): One more in what is getting to be a long line of bitter, not all that pleasant sub-$15 pinot gris from quality producers. I have no idea why this is, but there is no excuse for making wine that tastes this way. The Chateau Ste. Michelle from Washington state has some apple fruit, but that’s not enough to save this white wine.

Mini-reviews 64: Muscadet, Stoller, Prosecco, Villa Maria

Labor Day wine reviewsReviews of wines that don ?t need their own post, but are worth noting for one reason or another. Look for it on the final Friday of each month. This month, four more wines for Labor Day.

? No l Bougrier Muscadet 2012 ($8, purchased, 13%): This French white wine, a private label for the Total Wine chain, was tart and sour, with little varietal character. Muscadet, made with the melon de bourgogne grape, should be light and refreshing. This reminded me of bad cheap French wine in the old days.

?Stoller Dundee Hills Pinot Noir 2012 ($25, sample, 13.8%): Delicious Oregon pinot noir, with berry flavors, zingy tannins, and as balanced as it should be. A fine value, even at this price. Highly recommended, and another example of the fallacy of scores. It scored 86 on CellarTracker, the blog’s unofficial wine inventory app, while the barely drinkable Bourgier scored 88.

? Deccolio Prosecco NV ($13, sample, 11%): This extra dry Prosecco is not too sweet, which is saying something. Extra dry is sweeter than brut, the most dry, and can be almost syrupy. It’s well put together with lemon fruit, a little minerality, and better bubbles than I expected. But extra dry cava will give you the same thing for a couple of dollars less, as will something like La Marca Prosecco.

? Villa Maria Pinot Noir Private Bin 2012 ($15, sample, 13%): A wine I desperately wanted to like, but that shows again Villa Maria’s fall from grace. This New Zealand red is nothing but sweet cherry fruit, without any pinot character.