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Trader Joe’s – 12.99 Under – Wine #5 – Muscadet

by | Sunday, January 31, 2021 | Wine Reviews, Featured, Wine Regions, Food & Wine

And we’re back. The final in my series of Trader Joe’s Bargain Wine Finds.

Wine #5 is a crisp, lemony white. 


Do you want a MUSCADET with your freshest seafood and oysters?  Yes you do!  Especially when Trader Joe’s offers one at $7.99. When I think of high acid refreshing, light and mineral-driven whites, a Muscadet (white wine from the mid-Atlantic coast of the western Loire) is a go-to. Yet the “Sur Lie” appended to the official wine name indicates its potential for a touch of creaminess to balance all that crisp.


Here’s my recommended TJ’s Bargain wine pick #5:

WINE PICK 5: Vignobles Lacheteau Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie AOP (France) My Purchase Price:  $7.99 – Trader Joe’s


The Wine  📌


Lemon, Golden Apple, Zing!

Follow the lead of the French. Muscadet is France’s largest white wine appellation, and its most popular choice with seafood, especially their Breton oysters. Its style is light and crisp and lemon to lemon-pithy. Some bottles may also have a certain stony-mineral character or a slight salty flavor, from the sea. You’ll like these wines for their bright texture and as a palate refresher.
TASTING NOTES – This wine: Initial aromatics of Golden delicious apple gave way to lemon pith, white blossoms and a bit of salty ocean breeze. It entered tingly and lively on the palate (with every sip) yet was not at all bracing. Tart lemon flavors echoed the nose with a touch of brininess that intensified as the wine opened. The acidity and intense lemon flavors stayed long and lively. Overall, flavor and mouthfeel reminded me of one of those Italian fizzy lemon candies!
FOODS?  It deliciously intensified the smokiness of my wet-smoked salmon (which had been tasting rather blah on its own) and the briny character of the seaweed in my sushi. I recommend it with straight sashimi though as the sweetness of the sushi rice dulled the wine’s flavors. Pick up now for oysters, mussels, white fish, light appetizers. It would be fabulous with white filets sautéed in lemon butter. If you like the feel of wines that refresh and cleanse your palate between bites of rich foods (rather than doubling down on them), sip it with a grilled cheese sandwich, fondue, or heck, how about a tuna melt. Muscadet is the classic wine pairing for cool fresh oysters from Brittany!
OVERALL: If you enjoy Chablis or Pinot Blanc, try Muscadet (Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie). ** Just $7.99 at Trader Joe’s!

I‘d love your feedback —  Did you try this wine?  A pairing with it? Which are YOUR favorite TJ wine finds?

        …..Drop me a note:  MaryBeth@crushcoursewine.com


Going Deeper: Muscadet – the place, the wine 



An ideal seafood wineMuscadet (a wine, named for the region where it’s grown) is produced from a single white grape called “Melon de Bourgogne.” The grape name reveals its centuries-ago origins alongside Chardonnay and the Pinots of Burgundy (Melon is actually genetically related to Pinot Noir). Depending which history you believe, either Duke Philip the Bold of Burgundy in the 1500’s banished the grape (along with Gamay, and Aligote’ ) from the prized vineyards of the Cote d’Or because it was too simple and ignoble, compared to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Or, Melon was simply selected by the Loire vigneron’s in the 1700’s for its cool-hardiness.

Either way, Melon flourished in its new home, and ever since it has been synonymous with wines from the furthest western end of the Loire River Valley, near Nantes. This is where the Loire River meets the Atlantic, where cold saline winds chill the grapes to preserve their acidity and where the freshness of its wine pairs wonderfully with the fresh-caught foods of the sea. The “Sèvre et Main” in the name refers to a specific area in Muscadet between the two rivers, Sèvre and Main.

If you find a wine simply labeled “Muscadet,” expect simple crisp, high acid, mineral-driven wines tasting of lemon or tart green apple. When “Sur Lie” is appended, this is a higher expression of the wine. The winemaker allows the post-fermented wine to rest on the dead yeast cells for a number of months. The process adds a creamy texture and a little weight that plays off the acidity on the palate. It may also contribute a certain biscuity, toast, or yeasty aroma and generally adds a more interesting texture.

Usually expect to pay $5 to $10 more with Sur Lie. “Muscadet Sevre et Main Sur Lie AOP” is a wine enjoyed daily with the famed Belon oysters of the Brittany region. It’s served widely with Moules Frites (Mussels and French Fries) in the bistros and brasserie of Paris and is actually the traditional wine called for in its preparation.