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What to drink while eating raw oysters

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?

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  1. Beer.

    Champagne if you feel like being fancy.

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

      1. Gin martinis, icy vodka, champagne, beer.

        1. 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. 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. Chablis with oysters is a traditional pairing.

                1. Martinis for me. Or gin on the rocks.

                  1. 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. 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

                        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

                          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.

                          1. 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

                              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

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

                                1. re: Tripeler

                                  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

                                    LOL. Will!

                                    And your prosecco suggestion sounds lovely!

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

                                    1. re: Will Owen

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

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: hoppy2468

                                    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. 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

                                      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

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

                                    2. 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. 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. 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. Scotch.

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

                                            1. 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. 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. 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. Diet coke! Just like with sushi!! lol

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: mwerkharder

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

                                                    2. hoppy,
                                                      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!