Ah, Shucks: Discovering a pearl

The oyster remains something of an enigma. At first glance, observe a rough shell holding a slimy gray interior, but in the mouth, the decadent creaminess and salty minerality transports you to the sea. French poet Léon-Paul Fargue compares the experience to “kissing the sea on the lips.”

In fact, an oyster description sounds somewhat like a wine tasting note. Oysters reflect the region and conditions in which they grow, much the same way as a wine. When paired well, wine and oysters resemble a dance, moving together in harmony, playing off each other in a beautiful balance enhancing both.

Traditionally, oysters accompany white wines, like Muscadet, Sauvignon Blanc or Semillon. If you wonder which wine to open with your platter of fresh oysters, a creative Pacific Northwest partnership has an answer. A Washington oyster farm and an Oregon winery have solved the puzzle with a wine logically named Oyster White.

Meet Lissa James Monberg, Vice President of Shellfish for the Hama Hama Oyster Company. She describes how they partnered with Cooper Mountain Vineyards simply to produce a wine that consistently worked well with their particular oysters. “We love classic pairings,” she says, “but we also like to find creative ways to eat oysters. Our lives be boring if we only ate oysters with mignonette and muscadet.”

When approached by the oyster company, Barbara Gross, Cooper Mountain co-owner and her team created a unique white wine blend of Tocai Friulano, Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer. Monberg says, “It is unusual, and it works incredibly well; we’re thrilled with it.” … Read more here on Oregon Wine Press.

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