Oysters are a common sight at French markets. Huitres are a natural pairing for wine, in both the gustatory and philosophical senses. Just like wine, they’re an expression of terroir (or merrior, if you like) whose character changes with their origin. And in matters gustatory, well, it’s a match made in heaven.
Oysters pair well with dry wines full of life and mineral character. Many of the best matches are wines that originate in calcium-rich soils that were once the bottom of a prehistoric ocean. (The below photo shows a rock of fossilized oysters we found in the Loire Valley.)
Below are some of our favorite pairings; and for those looking to dive in, we’ve created a new sampler. All 12+ bottle purchases (including the samplers) will include an Ansonia Wines oyster knife.
Perhaps the simplest and most natural pairing. Made from the Melon de Bourgogne grape, Muscadet is grown just miles from France’s Atlantic coast, home to many great varieties of oyster. Muscadet is dry, round, easy, and beautifully stony.
- Martin-Luneau Muscadet “2 Roches” 2015: $18
- Martin Luneau Muscadet “Gorges” 2015: $22
- Martin-Luneau Muscadet “Clisson” 2014: $22
- Martin-Luneau Muscadet “Clisson” 2010: $25
Grown in fossil rich soils, Chablis is pure, dry Chardonnay. The most classic examples use little or no oak, and pair masterfully with the vibrancy of oysters. This is Chardonnay at its most stripped down and honest.
- Gautheron Petit Chablis 2017: $22
- Gautheron Chablis VV 2017: $25
- Collet Chablis 2017: $26
- Gautheron Chablis 1er cru “Vaucoupin” 2017: $32
- Collet Chablis 1er cru “Montmains” 2016: $32
- Collet Chablis 1er cru “Vaillons” 2017: $35
- Collet Chablis 1er cru “Montée de Tonnerre” 2017: $35
CHAMPAGNE / CRÉMANT
Sparkling wines, particularly from the chalky soils of Champagne, pair beautifully with oysters. The bubbles deliver a bright freshness, which contrasts beautifully with the oysters smooth, thick texture.
- Picamelot Crémant de Bourgogne “Terroirs” NV: $22
- Picamelot Crémant de Bourgogne “Chazot” NV: $28
- Picamelot Crémant de Bourgogne “Reipes” NV: $29
- Bardoux Champagne Traditionnel Brut NV: $49
- Bardoux Champagne 2002 (1.5L): $225
Located at the other end of the Loire Valley from Muscadet, Sancerre is pure Sauvignon blanc. The soils of Sancerre contain limestone, clay, and flint, which combine to give the wines a unique blend of minerality, smokiness, and fruit.
ODDS & ENDS
We also enjoy pairing oysters with less obvious ideas. Here are a few favorites:
- Paget Chenin blanc “Melodie” 2018: $18
- Morey Chassagne-Montrachet 2017: $65
- Maillet Macon-Verzé 2016: $28
- Saint Clair Crozes-Hermitage blanc 2016: $25
- Sanzay Saumur Rosé 2018: $19
- Gross Riesling 2016: $19
- Lafont-Menaut Graves blanc 2017: $22
OYSTER PAIRING SAMPLERS
Can’t pick just one? Here’s are two mixed case for oyster pairing. (Includes 1 Ansonia oyster knife.)
Both ship for free on the East Coast.