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Is there a more natural pairing than raw oysters and muscadet?

Recently spent a week on Chincoteague Island, VA and just about every day bought a dozen oysters from Gary Howard seafood and washed them down with muscadet. Not my favorite producer of muscadet pictured but adequate under the circumstances (should have packed some in).

This is possibly the best wine and food pairing that exists. At least I’ve never had any better.

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  1. Glad you enjoyed that. The two are terribly good together.

    By "natural" pairing, what do you mean?

    There are many food and wine pairings that are express trains to ecstasy, and much debate about "the best wine and food pairing that exists." To accurately make that statement, even for your own individual palate, would mean that you have eaten and drunk widely, sampling a vast number of combinations, including the established sublime pairings. Quite a delicious task...

    1 Reply
    1. re: maria lorraine

      I was attempting to be a little more provocative than asking what your favorite pairing is.

      I guess I mean natural in that both partners are generally undisturbed. An oyster is taken from the sea and shucked, and I’ve never had an over-oaked or otherwise spoofed muscadet. What is simpler than that?

    2. Well, there's always oysters and blanc de blancs champagne...

      But no, not really. A close second for me would be mushroom risotto with a traditional nebbiolo with some age.

      1. Sancerre (preferably Cotat) and Crottin de Chavignol

        1. Picpoul de Pinet

          1. And, of course, a nice Chablis!

            1. I think Hidalgo La Gitana Manzanilla goes better with shellfish, especially oysters.

              6 Replies
                1. re: Tabrams

                  Yep, It's a "variety" of Fino xeres; I find it a bit lighter and finer than Fino; it's made closer to the sea than Fino, so it has a little saltiness to the taste.

                  1. re: Maximilien

                    The "brininess" of Manzanilla is what makes it the perfect pairing with oysters.

                    1. re: bkhuna

                      About the brininess in manzanilla, yes.

                      Many of the minerally white wines also have the same brininess or sense of salinity, even a marine quality -- another reason these wines work.

                      1. re: maria lorraine

                        The illustration provided by the OP displays a Domaine de la Batardiere muscadet sèvre-et-maine. Now, as can be seen from the link below, the muscadet sèvre-et-maine appelation is about 50 kilometers from the sea. Maybe "brininess" is a correct descriptor for the wine taste. But in any case I wouldn't attribute that to proximity to the sea. Otherwise, all médoc wines (just an example) would share the same brininess, or even more, being closer to the sea.


                        1. re: RicRios

                          Just to be clear, Ric, I agree that a marine quality or brininess or salinity in a wine has nothing to do with the vineyard's proximity to the sea. Those flavors have a different source.

                          But the presence of those flavors in a wine can mean that the wine pairs well with ingredients that are indeed influenced the sea.

              1. I love a great bottle of wine, but with raw oysters I have to give the nod to ice cold vodka. Russian Standard or Reyka work well.

                2 Replies
                1. re: TonyO

                  Much as I love raw oysters and muscadet, I also like them with Fino sherry. As to sublime pairings, what can be better than fois gras and sauterne?

                  1. re: dinwiddie

                    "what can be better than fois gras and sauterne"

                    Hmm... let me dig the archives.

                    There you are: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5307...