There’s 10 inches of snow on the ground, and I’m daydreaming about being up in Maine for the summer—shoes off, walking through the blueberry fields toward the dock. Smelling the salty air, tiptoeing around shells, putting my feet in the water. I can almost taste the brine. When I miss it this much, Muscadet is there for me.
Michel Delhommeau’s Harmonie was made in the Loire Valley of France, but it’s a seasonal New England time capsule. His grapes never felt the salty air of the Penobscott Bay in early June, but somehow, they’re kindred spirits. The wine is a crisp morning, rocky sea foam, a fresh summer apple during a hike. Dried pineapple rings from the corner store.
Muscadet-Sèvre et Maine (it even has Maine in its name) is surrounded by granite that formed millions of years ago, as lava cooled. Everywhere else in the Loire, molten lava turned into granite, but in Monnières, the village where Michel Delhommeau makes Harmonie, it held its ground. Harmonie is grown from 25-40 year old Melon de Bourgogne on unique gabbro soil—an igneous rock, formed by molten lava. Gabbro—this ancient, independent hunk of crystal—is the reason for Harmonie’s, well, harmony.
The best wines, yes they’re balanced and complex and well made, but really, the wines I try to remember are the ones that spark nostalgia for me. They’re the wines that make me remember something beautiful and precious. Harmonie carries a memory with it—one I can’t wait to return to.
Drink with oysters, scallops, lobster rolls, crab cakes, and other seaside fare. If you’re a vegetarian, succotash, summer squash, and herbs herbs herbs.