HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >

What to drink while eating raw oysters

hoppy2468 Oct 8, 2011 12:05 PM

Going to Shaw's in Chicago for 50 cent oysters. Boss recommends martinis, I've heard and drunk wine and beer both. I want the taste of the oysters to come through.

What do you recommend?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. twyst RE: hoppy2468 Oct 8, 2011 12:06 PM


    Champagne if you feel like being fancy.

    1. b
      berkleybabe RE: hoppy2468 Oct 8, 2011 12:06 PM

      Champagne/sparkling wine...doesn't over power. Otherwise, beer.

      1. e
        escondido123 RE: hoppy2468 Oct 8, 2011 12:12 PM

        Gin martinis, icy vodka, champagne, beer.

        1. Vetter RE: hoppy2468 Oct 8, 2011 12:16 PM

          I keep coming back to certain rosés with oysters. I'll never forget a raw oyster starter accompanied by a Buty Winery rosé (a Walla Walla, WA wine). Suppose it didn't hurt that the oysters were top notch... but a medium weight rosé that's only seen old oak or stainless...yum

          1. p
            plf515 RE: hoppy2468 Oct 8, 2011 12:55 PM

            I'd go with beer, preferably something not too strong tasting. Maybe a lager. Another possibility is water (!) and I've sometimes had sake with oysters, which can also be good.

            1. Veggo RE: hoppy2468 Oct 8, 2011 01:25 PM

              Chablis with oysters is a traditional pairing.

              1. m
                malibumike RE: hoppy2468 Oct 8, 2011 01:35 PM

                High quality Ice cold Vodka.

                1 Reply
                1. re: malibumike
                  honeybee03 RE: malibumike Oct 9, 2011 11:23 AM

                  I agree. Or sake if available.

                2. j
                  jaykayen RE: hoppy2468 Oct 8, 2011 01:42 PM

                  Martinis for me. Or gin on the rocks.

                  1. b
                    bobbert RE: hoppy2468 Oct 8, 2011 01:56 PM

                    Your name is hoppy and you're asking this question? Beer. Then again when boss suggests something it's not necessarily a bad idea to try it... and love it.

                    1. Will Owen RE: hoppy2468 Oct 8, 2011 03:59 PM

                      Muscadet - Sevre-et-Maine sur lie. Lovely stuff and not expensive. There's one label, can't remember the name, that comes with a quaint little lithographed paper oyster-shell hang tag, but despite the schlockiness it's really good. We were at a famous seafood place down on the water near Nice, and were prepared to order a rosé, but Mrs. O's bossy (and knowledgeable) cousin-in-law intervened and insisted we get this instead. We shall be forever grateful.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Will Owen
                        jmnewel RE: Will Owen Oct 12, 2011 02:15 PM

                        I second your motion. I much prefer Muscadet to Champagne with oysters. The Champagne bubbles get in the way of tasting the oysters. I suppose beer would do the same for me, but I've never tried the beer /oyster combo as it just doesn't appeal to me. A Chablis would be my second choice.

                        1. re: jmnewel
                          Will Owen RE: jmnewel Oct 13, 2011 01:35 PM

                          See my comments below re: prosecco. But you're right: a really bubbly wine has too much fizz action. However, one that is merely petillant, sparkly on the tongue rather than bubbly, can be nice, or at least I found it so. The trick is finding one that is flowery rather than fruity, spare without being steely or too minerally.

                          On the other hand, last time I was offered large quantities of oysters the available wine was Two Buck Chuck Sauvignon Blanc. It was wrong, but not TERRIBLY wrong; more to the point, it's what was there.

                      2. s
                        stilldontknow RE: hoppy2468 Oct 8, 2011 07:32 PM


                        1. PotatoHouse RE: hoppy2468 Oct 9, 2011 05:28 AM


                          1. Tripeler RE: hoppy2468 Oct 9, 2011 06:33 AM

                            Gosh, so many things work well with oysters, but I would give preference to something carbonated. Champagne, Belgian witbier (white beer), or even simple sparkling wine.
                            However, chilled sake has long been a favorite with oysters for me.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Tripeler
                              Bob Brooks RE: Tripeler Oct 9, 2011 05:32 PM

                              A Muscadet would go very well. (Oops, didn't see Will's post before I wrote mine). Of course, he's right as usual.

                              1. re: Bob Brooks
                                Tripeler RE: Bob Brooks Oct 9, 2011 05:55 PM

                                Yes, I agree with EVERYTHING that Will Owen says.
                                He's one of the stars of the LA Board.

                                1. re: Tripeler
                                  Will Owen RE: Tripeler Oct 11, 2011 05:09 PM

                                  I happen to know for a fact that Will Owen is so opinionated he doesn't agree with himself half the time.

                                  In matters of taste we're really stuck speaking for our own. I had a lovely tasting of both wine and oysters at a place in San Francisco's Ferry Building, luckily on someone else's dime, and found that a nice prosecco, one with just a hint of flowery sweetness, was magical with all the oysters. There was no muscadet to compare, which surprised me, so I had to make do, and it did very well. I liked having that fizz.

                                  1. re: Will Owen
                                    NellyNel RE: Will Owen Oct 13, 2011 01:30 PM

                                    LOL. Will!

                                    And your prosecco suggestion sounds lovely!

                                    I have always enjoyed good rose with oysters..maybe a rose prosecco?!

                                    1. re: Will Owen
                                      mariacarmen RE: Will Owen Oct 13, 2011 01:31 PM

                                      you were at Hog Island Oyster Company! and i agree 100% with you - a nice muscadet is the preferred quaff, tho i do love champagne, prosecco, or even a pinot grigio with oysters.

                              2. c
                                CDouglas RE: hoppy2468 Oct 10, 2011 08:01 AM

                                Lager beer or champagne go well but I truly enjoy oysters with a good, ice cold vodka. Jewel of Russia Classic is my current favorite. Silky smooth and light bodied but full of that Russian mineral flavor that Stoli used to have many years ago.

                                1. h
                                  hoppy2468 RE: hoppy2468 Oct 10, 2011 05:20 PM

                                  I ate five dozen and drank a vodka martini, a cava and then sake. Liked the latter the best.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: hoppy2468
                                    huiray RE: hoppy2468 Oct 10, 2011 05:42 PM

                                    I was going to post further up then saw you have already eaten them.

                                    Still, FWIW - yes, sake is very good if you need alcohol. Otherwise, i'd go for gin&tonic, vodka on the rocks. Water is good too. Best - nothing to drink until you're done, with excellent oysters. I ran through 2 dozen Cape May Salts in Cape May at a well-known restaurant that has its own oyster beds not so long ago, then had a Manhattan. :-)

                                  2. kubasd23 RE: hoppy2468 Oct 10, 2011 06:40 PM

                                    Very chilled citrus vodka or absolut peppar. The bite of the peppar or the freshness of the citrus play very with them for me. I just can't bring myself to try an oyster shooter though.... it just seems wrong

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: kubasd23
                                      porker RE: kubasd23 Oct 11, 2011 05:52 PM

                                      I feel an oyster shooter to seem so right - 1/2 oz vodka, splash of clamato (or plain tomato, but not as good), few drops of tobasco/worcestershire/lemon, oyster and liquor. Always fun when scarfing oysters...

                                      1. re: porker
                                        LaLa RE: porker Oct 12, 2011 02:23 PM

                                        plus one...I always do a bloody mary...yum!

                                    2. j
                                      jlhinwa RE: hoppy2468 Oct 10, 2011 06:47 PM

                                      What do you recommend for a non-alcoholic drink to accompany oysters? I don't drink alcohol and would like something to have with raw oysters when I try them again soon. I haven't eaten raw oysters for something like 30 years, and after watching my 10-year-old daughter try and love them, I realized I needed to try them again. Is there anything non-alcoholic besides water that would be nice?

                                      1. tim irvine RE: hoppy2468 Oct 11, 2011 05:21 PM

                                        If nonalcoholic I'd go for a crisp mineral water with a small bit of citrus, maybe a twist. That said, there's no nonalcoholic flavor profile I have ever had that could match a Muscadet or a bone dry Champagne, preferably in a chilled mug. Closest I could think of would be a nonalcoholic beer. Not a great choice.

                                        1. j
                                          juliewong RE: hoppy2468 Oct 11, 2011 06:22 PM

                                          I feel anything goes with the oysters as it is all about the oysters! I have had a light cold white wine, gin and vodka martini's and even beer - but it is all about the oysters.

                                          1. m
                                            MonMauler RE: hoppy2468 Oct 12, 2011 12:55 PM


                                            A dozen or two oysters and a few glasses of scotch comprise my lunch about once every two weeks, on average.

                                            1. Motosport RE: hoppy2468 Oct 12, 2011 01:26 PM

                                              My vote is for a nice cold beer!! Then again I personally enjoy a nice iced cold unsweetened iced tea with just about everything.

                                              1. l
                                                libstewart RE: hoppy2468 Oct 12, 2011 01:49 PM

                                                I think beer is too heavy with something as rich as oysters. Oysters, in my book, are already a celebration - so I would continue with champagne.

                                                1. BobB RE: hoppy2468 Oct 13, 2011 01:25 PM

                                                  Martini, every time. Preferably gin, or my personal patented mix: one measure of gin, one of vodka, a half measure of dry vermouth, and a good shake of orange bitters.

                                                  1. mwerkharder RE: hoppy2468 Oct 14, 2011 05:38 PM

                                                    Diet coke! Just like with sushi!! lol

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: mwerkharder
                                                      Veggo RE: mwerkharder Oct 14, 2011 05:48 PM

                                                      It is very mean to cross-contaminate threads.....:)

                                                      1. re: Veggo
                                                        mwerkharder RE: Veggo Oct 15, 2011 02:56 PM

                                                        lol. I know! Ain't I a stinker?

                                                    2. h
                                                      hamboney RE: hoppy2468 Oct 15, 2011 08:17 PM

                                                      Sounds like it was a great combo of fluids. I like a Bloody Mary shooter as mentioned below, maybe it's just how good it looks!

                                                      Show Hidden Posts