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Wine, Oysters, and the "R" Months

If you’re a seafood lover this blog post is for you! Before we dive in, I want you to consider a couple questions.

  1. Which months do you think are best for buying oysters?
  2. Which wines do you think go best with oysters?

You may be asking why I’m talking about oysters. Well, the main reason is I like them ... and not just eating them. When I lived in Florida and the low-country of South Carolina, we’d go oystering. We would wade in the shallow waters with an old pair of tennis shoes on. When we came across some oysters, we’d reach down with a gloved hand, pull ‘em off the bottom, and throw them into the tub. Ya know, a guy works up a pretty powerful appetite harvesting oysters. So, when the spirit moved me, I'd just reach down in the water, grab an oyster, shuck it, and slurp it ... right out of the shell. Nothing better than fresh oysters!

You know, some people say there is a best time of the year to buy oysters. They say to stick to the months that end with the letter R. That would be September, October, November, and December. This is because back in the day, those were the months when oysters were wild harvested. Nowadays, organizations like the FDA, as well as local municipalities, strictly regulate the harvesting and sale of oysters. Most of these regulations exist to protect the health and safety of the consumer and to encourage sustainability. In light of these regulations on commercially available oysters, some say you can be comfortable buying and eating oysters pretty much year-round; or at least those months that have a letter R in them. That would add the months of January, February, March, and April. Personally, I stick with those months ending with the letter R ... wild harvested.

Alright, enough on oysters: let’s talk about wine! Here’s a quick list of all the wines I recommend pairing with oysters.

  • Gruner Veltliner

  • Pinot Grigio

  • Muscadet

  • Sancerre

  • Riesling (Dry / Kabbinet)

  • Albarino

  • Vinho Verde

  • Sauvignon Blanc

  • Chablis

  • Chardonnay 

  • Champagne

  • Brut Rose 

  • Gamay

  • Zweigelt 

  • Fino sherry

These wines will significantly elevate your taste experience, accentuating the flavors of both the oysters and the wine.

Generally speaking, wines that are brisk and refreshing will go great with oysters. Additionally, look for wines with good minerality and those aged on the lees. The minerality gives the impression of saltiness and the presence of lees during wine aging adds a bit of a yeasty, buttery creaminess. 

In this video, I walk through each of the varietals above and why they are such great options. I think you'll find it very helpful. Cheers!

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