SEATTLE–Not many wines go with oysters. That is why panels of 12 prominent oyster-loving writers, restaurateurs, retailers, and oyster growers will convene at the Water Grill in Los Angeles onApril 22, at Sutro’s at the Cliff House in San Francisco on April 23, and Anthony’s Homeport at Shilshole in SeattleÂ onÂ April 24 to select the 10 best West Coast wines to go with oysters as the conclusion to the 2008 Pacific Coast Oyster Wine Competition.
The popular annual event for West Coast wines and oysters is sponsored by Taylor Shellfish Farms of Shelton, Washington and organized by competition founder, Jon Rowley, Jon Rowley & Associates of Seattle.
Wineries from British Columbia, California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington were invited to submit entries to the competition. Typically the best oyster wines are dry, crisp, clean-finishing white wines.
Wines are blind tasted with Kumamoto oysters. A record 200 wines were entered this year. Five veteran preliminary judges consumed 1,800 oysters from April 1-8 to narrow the field to 40 wines, which were retasted with oysters to select the 20 finalist wines.
Without smelling the wine first, judges taste the oyster, then smell and sip the wine and then rate the bliss factor, the wine’s affinity with the oyster.
Judging scores from the three cities will be combined to determine the ten equal winners of the coveted Oyster Award.
2008 winners will be announced here on April 28.
Prior to the Pacific Coast Oyster Wine Competition, restaurants traditionally looked to France for wines like Muscadet and Chablis to go with oysters but many now await the results of the Pacific Coast Oyster Wine Competition to select their house oyster wines. Oyster Award-winning wines enjoy immediate sales results. In a September blind taste off with oysters at the San Francisco Chronicle between 10 French Muscadets and Chablis and the 2007 Oyster Award winners, the six expert tasters named a French Chablis as the top wine with oysters but seven out of the top ten scoring wines were Pacific Coast Oyster Wine Competition winners.
Wewere delighted to see our winners prevail over the French wines in a head-to-head tasting, says Taylor Shellfish Farms president, Bill Taylor. “The search for wines to go with oysters adds to the excitement and culture of oysters. The acclaim by the wine and restaurant industries as well as the media makes the Competition lots of fun for everyone.
Taylor Shellfish Farms is a fourth generation family-owned company producing oysters, Manila clams, Mediterranean mussels and geoduck for national and international markets.