If you’re looking for a reasonably priced wine to bring home from France, consider Muscadet from the Loire Valley. It’s made from a grape called Muscadet or Melon de Bourgogne.
Priced around 10 euros, it’s meant to be drunk young and fresh and is fabulous with all sorts of sea food. It has earthy, mouthwatering and sometimes tart tastes of minerals and tropical fruits. It’s also dryer and lower in alcohol (about 12%) than many white wines these days, making it excellent for our warmer weather. But don’t buy anything older than 2003 or 2004 vintages. It’s sold under the Vineyard’s name and the region: Sevre et Maine and Côtes de Grandlieu. The term “sur lie” that follows the name of the region on the bottle means that the wine rested on its sediment for a while, giving it extra texture and complexity. The Loire Valley is also the home of other good white wines like Sancerre, the classic white wine made from the Sauvignon Blanc grape, and Vouvray, a lovely white made from Chenin Blanc.