If you’re going to take the plunge and order oysters on your next dinner out, then you should also make sure you’re ordering a good wine to pair with it.
Sure, you can order whatever wine you want, whether that be a classic favorite for yourself or maybe something that sparks an interest whilst looking down the wine list.
However, there are certain wines that are best suited for pairing with some good ol’ briny oysters and it may just change up the whole oyster game for you.
Picking the right wine will enhance your dining experience, as the textures and flavorings in both wine and oysters interact with each other in your mouth creating a mindblowing tasting sensation.
Ok really, whilst you may think we’re crazy describing pairing wine and oysters this way, once you first try the right wine with them, you’ll come to realize that picking the correct type and coloring of wine does have an impact on how oysters taste and you’ll never go back.
So low and hold, we’ll be guiding you through the best wine that you can pair with oysters so you can pick up a good bottle for your next special dinner cooked at home or so you can order a nice big glass to have at a restaurant.
East Coast v West Coast Oysters
The choice of wine that you pick should also depend on what type of oysters you’re eating, are the East Coast or West Coast oysters, as both do have noticeable differences in how they taste.
If you’re eating out at a reputable establishment, then their servers should be knowledgeable about matching wines and other beverages to what kind of oysters you are going to be eating, so just enquire and you should be able to get a good answer.
For now, our recommendations will be broad and most of the recommendations will perfectly suit both East and West coast oysters so there shouldn’t be any issues.
The Best Color Of Wine To Pair With Oysters
The best color wines to pair with oysters are chilled, crisp white ones and it’s what you’d recommend the most to your server in a restaurant. They have a more subtle flavor that won’t overpower or completely alter the taste of your shucked oysters.
Red wines tend to have harsher tannins and don’t go well with oysters as it creates a strong pungent taste and brings out the salinity levels of the oysters a tad too much.
However, we know that there are loyal red wine drinkers out there who wouldn’t dare go near a glass of white, so we’ll be recommending the best red wine that can be paired with oysters.
If you are going to go for a red wine with your oysters, then try to go for something as light and refreshing as possible.
A lighter more acidic wine like a white is best served with freshly shucked oysters, however, if you’re cooking your oysters then you can opt for something a bit heavier like a red to pair with them.
The Best Type Of Wine To Pair With Oysters
A classic type of wine that is so easy to drink on its own on a summer’s evening or as an additional extra when paired with a lovely meal.
It’s one of the ideal wines for seafood, so if you’re going all out with the fish and shellfish on both your appetizers and mains, then you’ll want to do it justice by getting a whole bottle.
A Sauvignon Blanc has high acidity levels and notes of lemon that is just so well matched with oysters. If you are going to get a glass of this wine, then we’d recommend holding off on squeezing fresh lemon onto your oysters as well as the wine will be able to balance the salty brine of the shucks on its own.
Why not try a chilled bottle of Sancerre from France or a Californian Sauvignon Blanc as these tend to have more fruit-forward wines that suit the saltiness of the brine and also any additional seasonings like tabasco or red wine vinegar.
It doesn’t matter what kind of food you’re eating, champagne seems to pair great with anything for whatever occasion.
Whilst it may seem like an unnecessary additional expense, to add to what could already be a sky-high cheque for dinner, champagne texture and flavor is perfect for matching with some salty oysters.
The bubbly acidic contrast of champagne against the salty plump oysters is unmatched.
Many champagnes will have a yeast, bready flavor which adds so much depth when served with oysters. There’s a reason why you’ll often see oysters and champagne advertised as a menu option for diners as they just work so great together.
So if you’re looking for a classic yet classy combination then we’d recommend getting a glass (or a bottle) of champagne to pair with your succulent oysters.
It doesn’t even have to be champagne, you could also enjoy a nice glass of Cava or Prosecco as a less extravagant alternative.
We recommend trying Laurent Perrier Ultra Brut or Champagne Jean Diot – Brut Selection, however, a decent bottle from your local wine or grocery store will be able to do the trick, but we recommend not spending below $30, cheap champagnes will be over-carbonated and will feel too bubbly whereas something that is higher quality will have smaller bubbles.
Chablis is a Chardonnay-making wine region in the Burgundy area of France, however, unlike Chardonnay, Chablis doesn’t often use oak-aging which gives it a different taste and profile to that of its distant cousin. Chablis has a fresh mineral complex that is perfecting salty oysters
Some of our favorites Chablis bottles to offer out to guests at our oyster evenings or whenever we’re dining out near the coast is 2014 Château de Beru Chablis, or if you’re looking for something exceptionally sophisticated then why not try a 2018 Albert Bichot Chablis Domaine Long-Depaquit.
If you asked wine or food experts what would be the wine that’s most commonly picked and recommended to pair with oysters then it would probably be Muscadet.
It’s a very dry and highly acidic white wine and also acts like a squeeze of lemon so be less liberal when juicing some lemon wedge over your oysters.
Our best recommendations are Domaine de la Pepiere as no formidable muscadet list is complete without a bottle of this. You can still find some more budget-friendly Muscadet bottles that still taste just as great such as Château de L’Oiselinière Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie Les Illustres for the mineral flavoring that matches well with the brine in the oysters.
Chardonnay is not a great recommendation for raw oysters but is a good companion with some cooked ones, especially if you’re going to use it in a creamy sauce to pair with them.
Make sure you know if your oysters will be cooked or not as this wine can taste a bit odd with raw oysters and could even ruin your meal.
If it’s a special occasion then why not try one of southern Burgundy’s best wines Château Fuissé Pouilly-Fuissé Le Clos 2018, it’s pale in color and very elegant with subtle notes of floral and pepper.
Even if you weren’t clued up on wine and oysters, fino sherry would probably be your last recommendation to pair with some freshly shucked oysters.
However, sherry is another coastal wine produced in the Andalusia region of Spain. Fino sherry is spectacularly paired with anything salty including olives, potato chips, and anchovies if you wish.
It tends to be one of the more affordable options to pair with oysters, so if you are looking for a more budget-friendly alternative to some of our other luxurious recommendations then this will be it.
Try a small glass of NV Bodegas Valdespino Fino Inocente and you’ll be surprised at how much you can proudly say that you enjoy a glass of sherry.
A Beaujolais wine is the best, if not the only red wine that should be drunk and enjoyed with oysters. It’s made from Gamay Noir grapes and has quite high acidity levels but with no tannic structure that helps it remain balanced against the oysters.
If you must have red wine, then we’d recommend 2018 Saint-Amour Domaine de la Pirolette as it’s light and fruity which contrasts well against the strength of the brine.
However, it’s all well and good making these recommendations for you, but if you don’t like a certain type of wine then you shouldn’t force yourself to drink it just because it pairs well with oysters.
No one is going to judge you for your choice of beverage, even if it is an iced soda, so just order what you like and we’re sure the oysters will still be the star of the show.
Most of our wine recommendations should feature commonly on wine lists across the world, however, if you want to get your choice just right then ask your server what wine they’d recommend off their wine list to go well with your oysters.