DRINK DIFFERENT - MUSCADET’S SOUTHERN COUSIN
A beautiful plate of fruits de mer deserves a fresh, light, tangy, almost salty, wine, and for many people the obvious choice is a Muscadet, made in the northwest corner of France, close to where fabulous quality shellfish is caught. It’s the perfect alignment of regional produce and wine.
Many Britons who might once have holidayed in Brittany now head further south, and it is here, at the opposite end of France, that you will find an excellent alternative to Muscadet. In fact, Picpoul de Pinet is often dubbed the ‘Muscadet of the Midi’, being produced right down on the Mediterranean coast in the Languedoc.
Picpoul (or piquepoul) translates as ‘lip-stinger’ – and this gives a clue as to the quality of the wine. It has a lively acidity, balanced by a fuller mouth-feel than its northern cousin, and is the perfect foil for the mussels and oysters harvested on the nearby Etang de Thau – once again marrying perfectly locally-produced food and wine.