What wine with oysters?
Oysters occupy a place of choice during feasts in France, where the main center of refining and production is located (in the Marennes-Oléron basin). Raw or hot, their tasting invites you to subtly choose the wine that will be able to accompany them. And to the question what wine with oysters? This article offers you two alternatives: extending the tradition with white wine , or breaking it with the choice of the originality of other wines.
The traditional choice: the use of dry and fruity white wine
It's a habit that continues, oysters, especially when they are raw, go almost automatically with fruity dry white wines with high acidity. But to see more clearly, we quickly understand that this choice is not trivial for more than one reason.
Why fruity dry white wine?
The particular texture of oysters (presence of iodine in large quantities), as well as the nutty taste of certain species coupled with the acidity of dry and fruity white wines , makes this alliance the perfect choice for tasting oysters. Given that the acidity of a dry white wine with fruity aromas contrasts with the oily and sometimes milky texture of oysters (during the summer oysters are generally milky, it is their breeding season) nothing better than a good dry wine to contain the very strong iodine intensity of its shell.
In addition, the fruity flavor of white and dry wines helps to purify the taste between two mouthfuls of oysters. It is a safe bet of the alliance. Better, it contributes to the perfection of this agreement. Its low alcohol content and its fresh flavor bring out the strongly iodized and saline notes of the oysters. The proximity that these wines maintain with the sea and the freshness of the climate makes their contact with the texture of the oysters very tasty.
Which white wines to choose?
The tasting of oysters is common to each region, the same goes for the choice of wine that goes with it. The ideal would be acidulated (wines with a slightly acidic taste) paired with acidulated low in alcohol, young and light. There are major production strongholds in France. To help you in this regard, here is a list of some strongholds with their best wines that can go well with your oysters. These are mainly the Loire, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Alsace.
- The dry and fruity white wines of the Loire
A Dena Dela. Produced in ideal conditions between the ocean and the mountains in Ciboure in the Atlantic Pyrenees, the Dena Dela is lively and precise because it is subject to very meticulous vinification. Its association with oysters allows you to fully savor its acidity as well as its aroma of lemon and grapefruit. Its tasting is done like a sparkling wine, it has the gift of expressing lemon notes and more mineral tones when its temperature is between 8 and 10°C. Very sweet, its alcohol content is 11% vol. It is necessary to plan 12 € to get a bottle of 75 cl.
The white Sancerre. Produced in the Loire vineyards which benefits from a perceptible oceanic climate although far from the coast, the white Sancerre effectively marries the salty taste of oysters due to its acidity. It is a supple wine with flavors of fruity and citrus aromas endowed with a strong aromatic nervousness, which becomes better with time. It is an aperitif that goes perfectly with shellfish; its price varies between €13 and €19 for a 75 cl bottle for an alcohol content of 12.5% vol.
- The dry and fruity white wines of Bordeaux
The Between Two Seas . This product from the Gironde with a relatively low alcohol content (12% vol) is a flagship appellation of Bordeaux wines . Like the vast majority of dry white wines, it is advisable to drink it young to savor the delights of its freshness. On this subject, you will find this feeling of freshness very pleasant. It makes it a very suitable wine for oysters, its light and fruity aspect comes from the Sauvignon and Sémillon grape varieties.
Muscadet blanc: there are several varieties, but the one that stands out qualitatively from the others is Muscadet Sèvre-et-Maine. It is one of the most famous wines in the world, its specificity comes from the fact that it can be aged on lees, then bottled early so that it can retain its freshness and liveliness. This dry wine with fruity and floral aromas perfectly marries the iodized texture of the oyster. Its freshness makes it possible to break with the very pronounced traditional acidity of oysters paired with vinegar and lemon.
A windfall. The particular vinification to which this wine is subjected gives it an acidity and a minerality which is perfectly suited to oysters, however, it is preferable to choose a wine which has no woody notes for a successful marriage. Generic Chablis is therefore very popular for this purpose. It is a discreet wine, with aromas of white flowers mixed with fine and delicate citrus aromas which bring it closer to notes of ripe fruit. It has a fruity flavor which is accompanied by mineral notes leaving a nice length in the mouth.
- Alsatian wine
Pinot blanc. Her beauty goes beyond her pale yellow dress. This limpid and brilliant wine discreetly fruity with notes of apple, peach and floral nuances faithfully translates the aromas from the grape which gives it a very punctuated acidity which makes it tender and light.
Riesling from Alsace. This wine is characterized by the freshness of its multiple aromas that are both fruity (with lemon, grapefruit, fruits composed of peach and pear) but also floral (white flowers, white nettle) which exalts the subtle flavor of the oysters while emphasizing their iodized character. It is a unique wine due to its ability to develop minerals depending on the soil where it is produced. Dry and vertical, it benefits from a liveliness that does not leave anyone indifferent throughout the tasting, even more importantly, its breadth reaches its climax in the middle of the mouth. His discretion is an asset that allows him to gain in quality over time. It brings a touch of favorable lightness to new bites.
The choice of originality: champagne or red wine
You are surely fed up with all these traditions that force you to match your oysters with dry white wines and you want to do with other very original alternatives that do not diminish your pleasure. Know that you are not wrong indeed, hot oysters go better with champagne and to some extent certain red wines. But here again the choice of wine is important.
The choice of bubbles: champagne
Champagne is a natural pairing with hot oysters, its demarcation vis-à-vis other wines comes from its verve and its finesse which place it in pole position of the perfect allies for seafood but also aperitifs. It would be incongruous to deprive oneself of it because the natural greed of this wine makes it a sparkling wine. However, for an adequate symbiosis, the choice of classic cuvées such as: raw or semi-raw champagne is strongly recommended because of the stimulating bubbles produced.
The choice of brut champagne : unlike demi-sec champagne whose sugar content per liter is quite high (33 to 50 grams of sugar per liter), brut champagne is very low in sugar (17 to 35 grams in sugar per litre) its lively acidity allows it to stand up to the saline notes of oysters.
The Blanc de Blancs cuvée : awarded at the 2017 World Chardonnay World Competition where it won the gold medal, this 100% Chardonnay with a brilliant white gold color takes on an intensity with flavors not only of mirabelle plum, but also of toasted bread. Its vinification is done automatically. Its tasting is very elegant, it provides a frank freshness with a taste of dried fruit towards the end. Considered by some to be the best Chardonnay in the world, the Blanc de Blancs cuvée is the perfect companion for your dinner aperitifs, it goes perfectly with oysters. Its price varies between 5 and 9 € per bottle.
The large extra brut reserve of Maison Dehours made up of 57% pinot, 10% chardonnay 3% pinot noir, and low dose with 7 grams of sugar per litre, it favors its great generosity in aromas in order to preserve its freshness with lively notes of citrus fruits (orange and lemon zest) but also very ripe white and yellow fruits (pear and apricot). Its tasting traces the spices of vanilla cinnamon, allowing it to retain its minerality and vivacity in order to marry the oysters which could not dream of a better companion. A bottle is worth around 23.90€.
The red wine option
Knowing that not everyone is an unconditional fan of bubbles, there is another equally original option: that of red wine . It remains an uncommon practice. It is much more in Bordeaux that we see this mixture. This pairing is more effective when the oysters have very little iodine . This mixture is ideal for oyster mushrooms that only a few red wines can combine properly. Nevertheless, here is a shortlist of some recommended red wines: a red Atlantic, a red Bordeaux, a Côte de Bordeaux, a red Brulhois or a red Chinon .
In short, you will no longer have to ask yourself the question of which wine with oysters ! An accompaniment list has been proposed to you with the hope that you will be able to get out of the game in the face of the embarrassment between tradition with dry and fruity white wines and the originality of champagne or red wine . All you have to do is enjoy your tastings to the full.