The theme of this year's festival was French Impressionism, as Muscadet is said to have had a loyal following among painters such as Manet, Monet and Renoir. The wine was transported along the Loire River to the open-air cafes that sprung up along the Seine and Marne rivers outside Paris after alcohol sales in the French capital were heavily taxed.
In the latter half of the 19th century, these cafes, or "guingettes," became popular among working-class Parisians and artists, who enjoyed the less-expensive dining along with "plein-air" activities such as boating and swimming. Recreating the Impressionist lifestyle, the Muscadet festival featured painters, French dancers and musicians, and barrel rollers demonstrating their skills on the South Street Seaport piers.
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