Wine

The Lure of the Loire

Patrick Cappiello looks to the Loire Valley's up-and-coming regions
Value wines and classic buys can be found in France's Loire Valley
The Loire Valley is one of the most diverse wine regions in France.

We heart the Loire Valley.

Not only is the region (mapped out in our handy infographic) one of the most diverse and historic in France, but cheapos like us can find affordable wines that drink beautifully.

And now the Loire's new generation of young winemakers is looking outside well-established appellations like Sancerre and Vouvray to give areas like Anjou, Touraine and Muscadet some much-deserved love.

"The land tends to be more affordable, so young winemakers are scooping up vineyards," says Patrick Cappiello, wine director and partner at New York City's Pearl & Ash. "There's excitement in the region to mix things up."

Patrick Cappiello of Pearl & Ash (left) finds value in the Loire Valley.
So step aside, Sancerre and Vouvray. Cappiello broke down which up-and-coming Loire Valley wines you should uncork right now.

Red: In Anjou and Touraine, winemakers are reviving lesser-known varietals like Côt, the local name for Malbec, and Pineau d'Aunis, an indigenous grape yielding bright, light-bodied reds. Look for bottlings from Anjou's Agnès and René Mosse and Touraine's La Grange Tiphaine. "Loire reds are bold, hearty and really great with game meats," says Cappiello. "They're an affordable alternative to other areas that make Cabernet varietals."

White: Muscadet, the Valley's westernmost region, is having a moment. "It's an area that's been overlooked," says Cappiello, "but it's in a position to take off." Winemakers like Marc Ollivier of Domaine de la Pépière, he adds, have raised the bar for other wineries in the region. And because the wines are less expensive than their Sancerre-grown brethren, we'll be stocking up on the crisp whites for spring oyster parties.

Pearl & Ash 220 Bowery New York NY 10012 212-837-2370

Around the Web

Get the Tasting Table newsletter for adventurous eaters everywhere