The Sommelier: Seema Pal, Best Sommelier of Manitoba 2023
The Appellation:
Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Gorges
AOP Key Varietals: Melon de Bourgogne

The Pairing: Strawberry Spinach Salad with Herb Smoked Chicken

There is a wine from the extensive Loire Valley for every wine lover. The Loire Valley offers a plethora of wine styles that ranges from dry to sweet, simple to complex, and fruity to savoury.

One of my favourite appellations in the Loire Valley is Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Gorges in the Pays Nantais region, nestled along the La Sèvre river. The wines have a beautiful balance of fruit and savoury notes. While there are expected citrus and fresh tree fruit characteristics, what is truly special with the wines from this appellation is that one can truly taste the soil and the sea, giving these wines a true sense of place. This wine possesses hints of minerality with a touch of smokiness from the green volcanic rock (called “gabbros”), delicious autolytic flavours of biscuit and brioche from the extended sur lie aging, and a distinct saline character from the sea breezes from the Atlantic Ocean.

The wines from Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Gorges AOC remind me of what I love most about summer – the delicious food pairings. My favourite pairing with these wines would be a strawberry spinach salad topped with herbed smoked chicken. The strawberry salad is a perfect hallmark of summer with ripe flavours and racy acidity that will complement the levels found in the wine, and its savoury and smoky notes pair beautifully with the similar flavours found in the chicken. For those who are looking for something you can sip on while enjoying the heat, but with a bit more substance and complexity, this wine is ideal.