September 22, 2021 by Arden Montgomery
Best Wine for Oysters
Oysters and wine: a pairing for the ages. We’re willing to go out on a limb and say that oysters and wine were the first intentional food pairing ever made (realistically it was actually probably bread, but whatever.) We pair wine with food because these viticultural delights have a magic-potion-like ability to enhance or transform the subtler flavors of a variety of dishes, and are themselves made more interesting by the foods alongside which they are sipped. And with no food is this transformative power more apparent than the small-but-mighty oyster.
In this piece, we’re going to give you a few tips on selecting the right wines to go with your oyster bar, and offer up a few bottles from the Argaux collection that are perfect for pairing with a pile of bi-valves on the half shell.
How to Pair Wine With Oysters
First, the tricky bit: slightly different pairing rules exist for oysters from distinct locales. Different coasts experience different tidal conditions, temperatures, microbiomes, and other plant and animal influences, and all of these can have an effect on the precise texture and flavor of your oysters. Even oysters in the same ocean but from separate bays or islands may have completely contrasted flavors, and therefore different wine pairing recommendations.
For example, oysters from warmer waters tend to be meaty and salty, and may call for a more robust or buttery wine like a Chardonnay. Cold-water oysters, on the other hand, are typically a little more delicate, and prefer something crisp and fruity to lift them up.
While this is something to keep in mind, especially as you graduate from budding oenophile to sommelier-in-training, it doesn’t need to be this complicated. In general, the best wines to pair with your oysters tend to be on the more acidic side. Think of it like the splash of mignonette or squeeze of lemon juice you sprinkle onto your oysters before consuming — an acidic wine will do the same thing, allowing both the beverage and the mollusk to shine on your palate.
Best Wines With Oysters
2021 Chateau Barbebelle Aix-en-Provence ‘Héritage’ Rosé -$28
This rosé is the haut monde, the crème de la crème, if you will. We find it best paired with an elegant cocktail hour or enjoyed with friends at a garden party. The wine is a unique blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, and Syrah; its balance and finesse of this rosé is unparalleled.
NV Delavenne Père & Fils Brut Nature Grand Cru Champagne $55
A Prosecco for all occasions — delicious, floral, crisp, and delicate (not to mention wonderfully affordable.) It’s also so, so refreshing and makes for an amazing spritzer if you’re feeling so called. Recommended for salty cheeses and charcuterie boards, we love it with Oysters Au Gratin.
2021 Dominique Roger ‘Domaine du Carrou’ Sancerre– $34
This wine is the squeeze of lemon we were talking about. A citrusy bouquet backed up on the palate by fresh fruits creating a truly ideal acidity, the French Sauvignon Blanc has the power to cut through grease or elevate a more minimalist oyster preparation. We’re having them fresh, with a splash of malt vinegar.
2019 Domaine De Oliveira Lecestre AC Chablis – $35
A Chablis is one of the more classic pairings for dockside oysters. And this spectacular Petit from Burgundy is no different. Made from younger vines, notes of lemon zest, apple, honeysuckle, steel, and cream shine through in every biodynamic bottle. Enjoy with oysters, prepared however you like them most.
Best Wine for Oysters from Argaux
If you still want to learn more about pairing wines with food — everything from oysters to hot cheetos — Argaux has just the thing. We paired with Vanessa Price to bring you a Food & Wine Pairing Kit that allows you to learn all you can about which wines go with what. Each kit comes with a copy of Vanessa’s book as well as 2 bottles of hand-selected wines from our collection.