Saturday, 23 February 2013

Atlantic Civilisation

I'd been reading in Barry Cunliffe's sweeping history of the European Atlantic seaboard how the Loire is one of the great arteries of the continent along with the Rhone and Rhine. It shifted all those good things from the Med like olive oil out to the 'Celtic fringes'. In turn tin, furs and Vikings made their way from Brittany back towards civilisation. Around Nantes at the western mouth of the Loire is the Muscadet wine region.

There are many signs of a good wine, but one rather crude one is to leave it open in the fridge overnight. Muscadets are usually 'bone-dry' but this one emerged from its chilly 20 hours with a range of flavours. Mainly apple but also a whiff of grass and not at all sharp in the mouth. Amazing value at £7.50 from the Wine Society.