Drink: Svelte Muscadet - made for summer
Muscadet is one of the Loire River Valley's driest and most non-fruity wine styles. It is not to be confused with its alter ego, Muscat. It is made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape grown near fishing port city of Nantes, south of Brittany.
Ultra-dry, the wines are light in alcohol (11pc-12pc) and notable for their high levels of crisp acidity. They are perfect with sauces, creamy cheeses and shell fish, especially bivalves - mussels and oysters. Muscadet de Sevre et Maine is the most important quality appellation. To add a slightly creamy texture and a subtle baked bread character, the wines are often aged in tank or cask resting on their lees (the spent yeast cells) and labelled "sur lie". Muscadet, made for summer.
1) Chateau l'Oiselinière de Ramée 2014, Muscadet de Sevre et Maine - Sur Lie, 12pc
Assertive palate of mouth-watering juicy lemons and attractive stone fruit. Integrated acidity and a bone dry, stony finish. Great with roast chicken and celeriac mash.
€13.99 from J&C Kenny at Cappagh Stores, Knocknacarra; Shannon Knights, Shannon; No. 21 Off-licences Group: Waterford, Carrick-on-Suir, Midleton, Charleville, Blarney, Ballincollig and Coburg Street, Cork.
2) La Louvretrie 2015, Muscadet de Sevre et Maine - Sur Lie, 12pc
Fresh aromas of green apple skins and lemon zest. Very persistent lemon and zesty palate. Crisp and long lemon juice finish. Brilliant with brie.
€15.65 at Wines Direct Shop Mullingar and in Arnotts, Liffey Street entrance, Dublin and online: winesdirect.ie
3) Domaine de la Noë 2015, Muscadet de Sevre et Maine - Sur Lie, 12pc
Lemony aromas. Tasty bread background to the lively tingling lemony acidity. Match with potato cubes sautéed with shallots and turmeric.
€13.99-€14.49 in Dublin at The Vintry, Rathgar; Higgins, Clonskeagh; D-Six, Harold's Cross; Martin's, Fairview; Drinkstore, Manor Street, and Molloy's Stores citywide.
4) Les Charmes 2014, Ackerman, Muscadet de Sevre et Maine - Sur Lie, 12pc
Fragrant white flower scents. Tangy, fresh and juicy apples interwoven with pithy grapefruit and a zesty, long finish. It is ideal with baked courgettes which have been stuffed with parmesan, breadcrumb, garlic and parsley.
€13.99 on-line at WinesOfTheWorld.ie
5) Réserve de la Verdière 2014, Muscadet, 11.5pc
Attractive austerity in harmony with the green apple fruits and a lingering stony finish. A tasty fish and chips partnership.
€9.99 at select Eurospar, Spar, Mace and Londis nationwide.
Armagh Craft Cider Medium, 4.5pc
Appealing orchard fruit aromas and flavours. The ripe off-dry apple flavours have a contrasting tang of crisp acidity for overall balance. Perfect with bacon and cabbage.
€2.29 500ml at Aldi nationwide.
Escape to the west at Delphi Resort's Wine Appreciation evening with James Nicholson Wines on Wednesday, August 10 at 7pm. Commences with wines and canapés followed by a five-course dinner tasting menu by head chef, Stefan Matz, served with five matching wines at €95 per person. A special discount of 20pc on their 4-star accommodation for this event. Bookings: DelphiResort.com or tel: 095-42208.