Pairing Wine With Oysters

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Oysters are considered to be one of the most luxurious foods. They are a staple in many cuisines and are almost always used in restaurants with Michelin stars. Oysters are often consumed at the start of the meal or eaten alongside Champagne. 

These shellfish like most of the others simply crave for white wines. The best wines to go with oysters would be crisp, light white wines with a great amount of acidity, citrus fruit aromas and a good complexity. 

Wine Characteristics To Pair With Oysters 

BodyLight to Medium Bodied White
Tasting NotesCitrus, green fruit, brioche, bread, smoke 

Sweetness – Oysters are best when eaten alongside dry wines, as sweetness doesn’t contribute to the experience as much. 

Acidity – A high level of acidity is best with oysters, as they are salty, briny and need a lot of freshness to balance the saltiness of the dish. They are often served with lemon juice as well which just makes the acidity in wine even more important. 

Tannins – As we mentioned previously, mostly light, white wines are good with oysters and you won’t find any tannins there. 

Body – Light to medium bodied white wines are our go to choice. Full bodied wines might overwhelm the light oysters easily and this is something that you should have in mind when choosing your wines. 

Tasting Notes – Citrus and green fruit should be the primary aromas desirable for your wines.
Secondary aromas should mostly be those gotten from lees aging, such as brioche, bread and smoke. 

Best White Wine To Drink With Oysters 

Oysters can be such a complex dish, with lots of descriptions such as meaty, briny and mineral.
The best choice when it comes to wine is to just go with the texture and flavor of the oysters themselves.
A light, crisp white wine is a great choice. Having a wine with a high acidity level, fresh fruit aromas of citrus and green fruit are a must. In some cases a bit of lees aging aromas such as brioche, bread and smoke pair perfectly with Oysters.

Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie from France

This is an iconic pairing with Oysters. The wine itself is made from the Melon B grape variety coming from the Nantais region in the Loire valley in France. It has a distinctive shellfish aroma which complements oysters greatly. Citrus and green fruit dominate the flavor profile but it is even more complemented with lees aging which gives the wine a lot of complexity. 

Albarino from Spain

Classic Albarino is grown right next to the Atlantic Ocean in Rias Baixas, Galicia. It is grown so close to the ocean that it actually has an aquatic aroma. It is dominated by grapefruit aromas with other citrus fruit following. High acidity and a good flavor intensity make a great pairing with oysters. 

Assyrtiko from Greece

Grown on the volcanic soils of Santorini, this wine is going to be a treat. It has a high acidity as well, with lots of citrus and stone fruit flavors, with smoke aromas coming from the soil. It makes a great pairing with the meaty oysters as it is leaning towards medium bodied and it complements the texture of oyster meat. 

Riesling from Germany 

German Rieslings are great with Oysters as they are light, crisp, fresh and dominated with citrus fruit aromas. Many of them are smoky from the soils in Germany. Other choices for Rieslings could be Finger Lakes Riesling from the USA or even Clare Valley Riesling from Australia.

Sauvignon Blanc from France

A great wine pairing again coming from the Loire valley. Sauvignon blanc from Sancerre, Pouilly-Fume or Menetou-Salon makes a killer pairing with Oysters. High acidity, light body, citrus and green fruit aromas with flint aromas from the soil, alongside oysters it makes a great symphony of flavor on your palate.

Pairing Sparkling Wine With Oysters 

Sparkling wines are quite often consumed alongside oysters. Champagne has always had a luxurious image and so do oysters. We will recommend some options for sparkling wines which you can have without breaking the bank. 

Traditional Method Sparkling Wine from France

We would recommend having a great non vintage champagne alongside oysters as these are not as expensive and they are a treat. Aged on the lees for at least 12 months on the lees, they make a great, complex wine.
If you prefer spending a bit less on wine, go for Crémant d’ Alsace or Crémant d’ Bordeaux.
There is also wine from Saint-Peray which can make a good substitute. 

Sekt from Germany or Austria

These wines are also made with traditional methods and they tend to be a tad cheaper than their French counterparts. They offer a great value for money and will make a great pairing with oysters as well. 

Best Wine To Drink With Oysters 

The wines on this list are going to make your dinner exquisite. They all have the same characteristics of high acidity, lots of freshness, great complexity and what’s most important, they are a great pairing with oysters. 

  • Traditional Method Sparkling Wine from France
  • Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie from France
  • Riesling from Germany 
  • Sekt from Germany or Austria
  • Assyrtiko from Greece
  • Albarino from Spain
  • Chablis from France
  • Sauvignon Blanc from France

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