Oyster Wines Revisited

April 6, 2012

Oysters on the half shell from Shuckers in the Fairmont Olympic Hotel Seattle before. . .

Sad to say, but the arrival of the first wave of fresh halibut last week at Pike Place Market fish stands, signals that we are nearing the end of raw oyster season here in the Northwest.

Now I know oysters are available year-round, and that the age-old advice about eating them only in “r”months may no longer be true.

But I simply don’t feel like eating raw oysters on the half shell in the summer months. . .they seem more like a fall and winter food to me and my palate.

With that in mind, here are some last thoughts on oysters on the half shell and which wines pair well with them. This list thanks to a seminar that examined the ins and outs of pairing wines from across the world with raw, local oysters.

The afternoon session featured Lissa James of the Hama Hama Oyster Company and winemakers from Girard Napa Valley, the Crossings winery in New Zealand, and Barone Fini from Italy. And even though I was unable to attend the seminar and sample the wines and oysters personally, the organizers were nice enough to share the results, which I find fascinating.

And for additional suggestions on pairing Pacific Coast wines with raw oysters, here’s an article I wrote last year for Wine Press Northwest. The┬álink takes you to an e-edition of the magazine which requires a few extra moments to download due to all the text and graphics, so be patient. You’ll find my article if you flip to page 10.

Featured wines, and their suggested oyster pairings:

  1. Girard Sauvignon Blanc 2010 & Kumamoto Oyster
  2. Barone Fini Valdadige Pinot Grigio 2010 & Olympia Oyster
  3. The Crossings Sauvignon Blanc 2011 & Hama Hama Oyster
  4. Girard Chardonnay 2009 & Point aux Pins Oyster
  5. Barone Fini Alto Adige Pinot Grigio 2010 & Blue Pool Oyster
  6. The Crossings Unoaked Chardonnay 2009 & Totten Inlet Pacific Oyster

Oysters on the half shell from Shuckers in the Fairmont Olympic Hotel Seattle after!
Photos by Braiden Rex-Johnson

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