Oysters and Wine Pairing: The Ultimate Revenge

oystersIt’s amazing I’ve maintained my sanity given all the culinary mixed messages I’ve endured during my lifetime.

When I was a kid, I remember vividly that my Mom was not a fan of slurping. “Stop slurping!” she’d command if I’d make any noise while eating soup or drinking a soda through a straw.

“What about a Slurpee [from 7-Eleven]?” I’d counter if feeling particularly brave (or dumb).

“That’s different,” she’d reply.

It wasn’t until I visited Japan for the first time, some 30 years later, that I learned there are places and instances where slurping not only is accepted; it’s encouraged. There, slurping one’s soup and noodles is considered a sign of appreciation to the chef.

Then came a real revelation: It’s okay to slurp here in the United States as well: as long as you’re eating oysters.

According to Vanity Fair, the right way to eat a raw oyster is to “take your tiny fork and sort of move the oyster around in its liquid-filled half shell to make sure it’s detached. Then put down your fork, pick up the shell, and slurp down the oyster from the wide end.”

If you want to get a little more of the briny flavor, chew the oyster once or twice before you swallow it.

Because there are several different kinds of oysters — ranging from salty and chewy to creamy and sweet — recommending a single type of wine to pair with them is impossible. Your best bet is to find the type of oyster you especially like, and then try various types of wine with it.

My favorite pairing partners with salty and chewy oysters are Vinho Verde, Prosecco (or other renditions of dry sparkling wine), and dry or off-dry Riesling.

With creamy and sweet oysters, I like Sauvignon Blanc and a Chablis-like — meaning non-oaked — Chardonnay.

And if you feel like slurping your wine while you’re slurping your oysters… who’s going to notice?

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Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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