A couple of weeks ago, during one of those July heat blasts, I went to a poolside potluck and opted to shuck a few dozen Kumamoto oysters as my contribution to the day’s spread.
I made a couple of simple vinaigrettes, with lemon, vinegar, horseradish and the like, and decided not to grill the oysters due to the heat.
I like crisp, flinty, minerally Sancerre or Muscadet-style whites for fresh chilled oysters on the half shell.
At the last minute, I opted for a few California Sauvignon Blancs I tried this summer, remembering that a few of the wines I’d liked were marked by strong lemony flavors and nervy acidity.
I gave them good marks, in the 82- to 85-point range (you can read about California Sauvignons and find reviews in our August issue), but I recalled thinking this style might work perfectly with oysters.
And it did. Chilled and refreshing, the acidity sliced right through the earthy, briny oyster meat.
We all know wines taste better with food. Most of the time, it’s a matter of finding the right match, and when you do, even simpler wines often shine brighter with an entrée than on their own.