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Nov 29, 2007 05:03 AM


Going to a great seafood place in NYC tomorrow for 1 yr anniver.
Probaly going to start with some oysters & move on the fish entree's.
Any suggestions as for as wine pairings? I should stated earlier that I am a wine novice, but not afraid to try anything. Is it acceptable to pair the oysters with beer & move to wine for the main course?


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  1. Oysters and Guinness-style stout are a classic pairing. Ditto scotch and water. Among wines, dry champagne, flinty unoaked Chablis, restrained minerally Sauvignon Blancs (Sancerre, Menetou-Salon, Pouilly-Fumé, St-Bris, Pessac-Léognan, Graves, Entre-Deux-Mers, etc.), steely bone-dry Alsatian Rieslings and crisp Picpoul de Pinet all work though the best (and usually cheapest) pairing is almost always a Muscadet.

    3 Replies
    1. re: carswell

      Not sure that I buy into the Guiness (or similar) w/ oysters, but everything else is right on.

      I'd also add an Albaiño, or maybe a Fino Sherry.


      1. re: Bill Hunt

        "Not sure that I buy into the Guiness (or similar) w/ oysters"

        You might want to keep that opinion to yourself the next time you find yourself in a Dublin pub... ;)

        Especially since it got Bourdained, everyone heads to Montreal's Au Pied de Cochon for guilt-free wretched excess, in particular over-the-top foie gras dishes. For me, the main draw is its excellent oysters and St-Ambroise Oatmeal Stout on tap. And I, too, was a doubter until I tried the combination.

        Have never tasted Albariño with raw oysters but my mind's palate says it'd work. Thanks for the tip.

        1. re: carswell

          You know, I CAN be convinced. Will try it next opportunity. I was hesitant once, when confronted with a flourless chocolate torte and a Taddy Porter. The combo was great, and I exponded upon it with a Young's Double-Chocolate at a dinner a week later. Only comments that I got initally were, "Hunt, your dessert wine has a HEAD on it!" At the end of that meal, my wife had to provide the recipe for her version of the flourless chocolate torte, and I, the location of a source for the Young's.

          Somehow, I just can't get my mind around the oysters and the stout, but, as I said, I've been surprised before, so why not again?


    2. Mitchell,

      First of all, ANYTHING is acceptable. Period. It's your palate, your reference, and it's YOUR money paying for it.

      That said, there are many wines which pair excellently with oysters. My preference is for raw oysters on the half shell. A Muscadet Sèrve et Maine sur lie is a great choice; so too would be a Picpoul de Pinet or a [true] Chablis. And, of course, a [true] Champagne Brut Blanc de Blancs will also work beautifully.

      Any oyster bar worth its name will have at least two or three of these available.

      And congratulations!


      3 Replies
      1. re: zin1953

        Thanks Jason & Carswell - I knew I would get some great advice from this board - appreciate it! Cheers!

        1. re: zin1953

          Jason beat me to it. The Muscadet Serve et Maine would be my first choice, and I think Champagne goes with anything.

          In addition, a nice Pinot Gris or Pinot Blanc would also work well. A to Z makes some nice ones, as does Chehalem, if you don't find a good Alsace (PB) or Italian (PG) one on the list.

          1. re: zin1953

            100% agree: Picpoul de Pinet or Muscadet Serve et Maine. All the way.

          2. Chardonnay is "the" oyster wine. Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling (kab), muscadet and champagne are also nice.

            For the entirety of an "oyster and fish" meal, recognizing that's a very nebulous description, if I can only pick one wine, it's chardonnay.

            9 Replies
            1. re: Chicago Mike

              Admittedly, I don't like chardonnay (the oaked wine, not the grape), but I've still got to maintain that you're wrong in insisting that this is "the" oyster wine. A good sparkling, especially a Champagne (NV or not), is something that I would think the majority would consider "the" oyster wine. I quite agree, but my opinion is obviously quite biased - if I can only pick one wine, it isn't ever going to be a chardonnay.

              1. re: Ali

                Keep in mind, that while you don't like "chardonnay", you do like Champagne, and the best champagne for oysters is made from... drumroll please.... chardonnay :)

                1. re: Chicago Mike

                  And like I said, I don't like the oaked wine, not the grape.

                  Many folks, when referring to chardonnay as a beverage, they're pointing to that overly oaked stuff that folks seem to be so fond of.

                  1. re: Ali

                    Perhaps it's just my lenient palate, but while I appreciate the difference between an "overoaked" cali chardonnay or a "big" Aussie chardonnay or a refined french chardonnay, at the end of the day the pairing compatibility with appropriate foods translates well across all styles,

                    IMO of course. From day-to-day I might prefer one to the other for a variety of reasons, but a dish that pairs well with one style I've found pairs reasonably well with the others....

              2. re: Chicago Mike

                I'm not sure what "Chardonnay is 'the' oyster wine" means. Chardonnay as grown in Chablis? Or in blanc de blanc champagne? Sure, that's arguably true. New World unoaked, acidic style? Could work, though it wouldn't be my choice. Oaked, malo-lactic fermented chardonnay, whether Burgundy or New World? Please accept my humble opinion that's it's an unfortunate pairing, to put it mildly.

                1. re: Chicago Mike

                  No no no.

                  To each his/her own tastes. If you like chardonnay with your oysters, by all means, go ahead. But to state chardonnay is "the" oyster wine is, um sorry, wrong and misleading. If you can pick only one wine, a large majority would say muscadet. A large minority might say champagne. There is practically no one that would say chardonnay, Chablis excluded. A California chardonnay or Meursault with those oysters? No thanks, I'll pass.

                  1. re: mengathon

                    I knew if I call something "the oyster wine" I'd get these responses

                    I once called gewurztraminer "the fondue wine" and that really brought out the detractors... so I thought I'd try it again here :)

                    That said, I stand by my post. As to which style of chardonnay, it depends to an extent on the oyster dish recipe...

                    As for Muscadet, I personally like it best with a Pate or an oilier fish like mackeral... but to each their own, I never said it's bad with oysters.

                    1. re: Chicago Mike

                      Oysters with Chablis (which is Chardonnay). Love it love it love it.

                      Could also handle the Champagne....

                      Haven't had Muscadet or Picpoul with oysters, will try it! Muscadet Sevre et Maine is a more economic choice, so thanks for the tip!

                  2. re: Chicago Mike

                    Certainly you're entitled to your pick, but . . .

                  3. Oysters and beer are a terrific match, though I prefer a crisp, briney wine such as Muscadet or Gros Plant du Nantais. I also like icy, cold vodka or chilled sake.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Vinny Barbaresco

                      I agree with Ice Cold Vodka as my choice. If wine, Muscadet , Sancerre.

                    2. My favorite wine with nice raw cold fresh oysters is Gin.

                      Strangely enough, after that I'm gonna go with a Frascati.