Just as with every other ingredient the ideal pairing for mussels depends how you cook them, starting with the classic moules marinières.
Moules marinières is made with a dry white wine such as Muscadet so you might as well drink the same wine with them. Picpoul de Pinet would be equally good or you could try a dry Alsace Riesling
If you cook them with witbier/bière blanche as they often do in Belgium, again drink the same beer with them. Witbiers like Hoegaarden are cracking with moules.
Mussels cooked Thai style with coconut, lime and coriander also go well with witbier or try a Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Gris or New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.
Mussels topped and baked with garlic and breadcrumbs suit a crisp dry white like a Pinot Grigio or other Italian white but an unoaked Chardonnay or fruity Sauvignon Blanc such as Sauvignon de Touraine will match well too.
If they’re stuffed with sausagemeat, as they often are in the south of France where they’re known as moules farcies, and served with a rich tomato sauce you’ll find an inexpensive Languedoc red or strong southern French or Spanish rosé will probably be a better match than a white.
With mussel and saffron – or curry – soup (mouclade), try an oaked white Bergerac or Bordeaux or a Viognier.
By: Fiona Beckett