How To Pair Wine With Oysters
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2. Avoid OAKED White Wines
Pairing oaked white wines with oysters is another practice that should be avoided, simply because of the wine's ability to overwhelm the oyster. Typically, most white wines that have spent time in oak have very little acidity, and are full-bodied, with a rich, round mouth-feel. Many also show flavors of vanilla, butter, butterscotch, and spice. While this makes for a quintessential pairing with rich seafood dishes like lobster or shrimp, when paired with oysters, the richness of the wine overwhelms the delicate flavors of the oysters, and often clashes with the brininess. Again, why ruin a great wine and great oysters because of a bad pairing? Pair unoaked white wines with oysters.
Try These Wines
For "Cucumber-Melon" West Coast Oysters
Most wine writers and oyster experts say that Sauvignon Blanc and a West Coast oyster is a pairing made in heaven. After trying it myself, I have to agree. The cucumber/melon/kiwi/fruity flavors of the oyster blend seamlessly with the grassy, fruity, citrusy flavors of the Sauvignon Blanc. In A Geography of Oysters, Rowan Jacobsen states that "Sauvignon Blanc wines dominate virtually every oyster-wine competition," but also notes that Kumamoto oysters are the only oyster used to judge the wines. The classic flavor profile of West Coast oysters is embodied by Kumos, and when paired with a Sauvignon Blanc, particularly New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, which tends to be extra herbaceous and fruity, it's a match-up that can't be beat.
If you're not a fan of Sauvignon Blanc, turn to Chenin Blanc, or Txakoli.