When it comes to summer gatherings, there’s no better wine pairing than Muscadet from the Loire Valley. We know that might sound hyperbolic, but these lean, fresh wines from the Atlantic edge of the Loire Valley are perfect for lingering over sunsets, snacks, and gatherings where ease is paramount and flavors abound.

Muscadet has been a summer sensation since before the appellation was officially founded in 1937 because these wines – based exclusively on the Melon de Bourgogne grape variety – fuse high acidity with moderate alcohol and dynamic flavors in a trio that is simply irresistible. The Melon de Bourgogne variety, often called Melon or Melon B., is a naturally high-acid grape variety that’s made it’s home in the Western Loire Valley where a temperate oceanic climate interacts with ancient soils to yield vibrant, expressive wines. In fact, 99.9% of the Melon grapes grown in France come from the Loire Valley – there’s simply no other region that can produce Melon like Muscadet.

Because Melon de Bourgogne is such a zesty, high-acid grape variety, many vintners age the wines on their lees – or spent yeast cells from fermentation – to give the wines a creamy mouthfeel. This technique tempers the wines’ acidity and balances their crisp, refreshing flavors with just enough weight on the palate. Mineral undertones, fresh green fruit notes, and a clean finish help make Muscadet wines flexible on the table with a range of foods, but especially fresh seafood like oysters, lobster, and grilled fish.

Remarkably despite its small geographic area and incredible history, Muscadet wines remain a stellar value With an average retail price ranging from $13 – $18. Muscadet is always a good call – whether you’re recommending wines for a casual beach day or coordinating the menu for a summer gala.