Domaine de Durban 1999 Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise ($19.99)
This Muscat from the Southern Rhone shows a clear straw color in the glass. Fresh and delicious scents focus on pears and grapefruit with a touch of spice and honeyed sweetness, almost reminiscent of opening a can of fruit cocktail. The flavor is not as "sticky" as the nose suggests; it's very sweet, but medium body and almost steely acidity provide balance and texture, with a pleasant bitter-almond quality adding complexity in the finish. US Importer: Europvin USA, Emeryville, Calif. (Jan 3, 2003)
FOOD MATCH: Best as a dessert wine, of course, but you could almost get away with serving it with dinner ... with seared scallops in butter and lemon, maybe, or steamed lobster.
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