kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits, travel & lifestyle writer / wine educator


Moules et vin

I went to Cafe Deluxe for dinner last night--I've always enjoyed their food and casual atmosphere. Had one of my favorite dishes: mussels steamed in white wine, butter and herbs, and frites.

What to drink with steamed shellfish like mussels and clams? Cafe Deluxe's wine list is a bit limiting, but you can't go wrong with one of the Sauvignon Blancs, which will bring out the herby flavor in the broth.

When we were in Nice a few years ago, we enjoyed Moules Frites (mussels with thin French fries) several times, as that is basically the area's signature dish. And most of the locals drank dry rose with it, which also paired very nicely.

A third choice is Muscadet. A light white from the Loire Valley, it's pretty much made to go with the shellfish so popular in the area. With good acidity, some lemon or apple notes, and a bit of a mineral finish, it's a smart choice. "Sur lie" on the label means it was aged for a bit on the lees, the dead yeast cells that are leftover after fermentation, which can add body and complexity.