How to Easily Pair Your Wine and Oysters

Riddle me this: what’s low in calories, high in vitamins, and dangerously delicious?

You guessed it: oysters.

Those of us unafraid of a raw, slimy sea creature understand the beauty of these briny mollusks. And there are so many varietals of oysters, there’s practically one for every palate. But better yet, they’re oftentimes a happy hour special alongside a good glass of wine meant to be enjoyed while watching the beginnings of a summer sunset. It honestly doesn’t get much better than that.

So, I’d say it’s worth while to understand the proper oyster and wine pairings. Generally speaking, East Coast oysters, like Long Island Bluepoints, Duxbury, or Malpeques, suit the seafood fanatic. They’re bigger, tougher and more briny, with a strong scent of the sea. That salty chew lends itself to light-bodied whites with a touch of acidity, like Prosecco, Vinho Verde, or Riesling.

On the other hand, West Coast oysters are smaller, richer and tend to cause less of a “slurp” (take note for your next date night). They’re sweeter and creamier than their East Coast counterparts, too. Go for a heavier white wine with a stronger acidity to cut through the richness of Kumamotos, Kussis, or Olympias. A Sauvignon Blanc, an unoaked Chardonnay, or Rosé will do the trick.

If nothing else, remember this rule of thumb: East Coast oysters with bright light whites, West Coasters with heavier ones. Now, go! Slurp, swallow, sip, repeat.

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