Slurp! The Best Oyster Wines


Oyster-mania hits Fort Mason this weekend in the form of the 11th annual Oyster Fest. Head down there to catch oyster-philes getting their fix at events like the "Slurp and Shuck" competition.

In honor of the weekend, we're republishing a few words of wisdom on oyster and wine pairings:

I've some absolutely delicious oysters lately at places like Zuni and Hog Island. But for me, downing a great raw oyster is only half the fun if I don't have something alcoholic to wash it down with and by that I mean the perfect wine. I couldn't have been more strongly in agreement when I read Kermit Lynch's words that for him there are only two oyster wines: Muscadet and Chablis. I've long thought the same thing, even though things like Champagne, Sauvignon Blanc and various other wines can technically be good partners. But Muscadet and Chablis—both of which grow on white, chalky French soils that are derivative of ancient oyster beds—can never be beat.

To that end, here's a great Muscadet and Chablis to drink at home. All you need do is buy a couple dozen at Hog Island, watch this video on how to shuck them, and start slurping.

2008 Michel Delhommeau "Harmonie" Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie
Sharp, lemony, chalky and with a hint of brine, this is basically what an oyster would be if it were a wine (minus the fishiness). Light, refreshing and thirst quenching, like so much great Muscadet, it's also wonderfully cheap at a mere $13 at K&L.

Louis Michel Chablis 'Montmains' 1er 2007
Chablis runs a bit higher than Muscadet in price, but you get more for your money—more body, more complexity, more richness. Louis Michel is one of the greatest and most traditional producers in the region, making steely, mineral, perfect oyster-quaffing wines. $20 for a half bottle at Arlequin.

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