How to Pair Oysters and Wine

One of the greatest gifts from the sea, the oyster is welcomed at almost any table. These briny little treasures can transform an ordinary meal into a life-changing experience. A general rule of thumb when pairing oysters is to stick with a white wine, preferably something with a good kick of acid. Choose one that has been aged in either a neutral barrel or a stainless steel vessel. I prefer wines that are youthful—they tend to be more refreshing with sharp flavors that cleanse the palate rather then coat it. Below are a few of my favorite wines that pair perfectly with oysters.

Champagne: A blend of chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot meunier. Grapes grown in Champagne attribute their undeniable mouth-watering acidity to the chalk-rich soil that lies just below the surface. When choosing Champagne, keep an eye out for the blanc de blancs style. These examples are only made with chardonnay and are a perfect with oysters.

Oregon Pinot Gris: Oregon’s great Willamette Valley produces incredibly clean and refreshing pinot gris. It’s subtle, with flavors of tart Granny Smith apple and lemon blossom. The mild character of these wines effortlessly complement a fresh Kumamoto plucked from Puget Sound.

German Riesling, Trocken: Rieslings come in many forms, from bone-dry to lusciously sweet. My advice, choose one that is bone-dry, either from Germany or Austria. Look for the word Trocken, on your next bottle, to guarantee you’re not getting a mouthful of sweetness as a surprise.

Looking for oysters tonight? Try these local restaurants:

Shuck Oyster Bar: This gem is located in Costa Mesa; numerous oysters are offered at $3 each, and there is no corkage fee.

The St. Regis, Stonehill Tavern: Offering a daily rotation of multiple oysters, and an award-winning wine list.

Mastro’s Ocean Club: Located right off the 101 in Newport Beach. Mastro’s Ocean Club brings seafood to a whole new level with its “seafood tower.” It also doesn’t hurt that it has many hard-to-find white wines sleeping in its cellar.






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