Here in the Northern Hemisphere, conventional wisdom is that oysters are best served from October through April. Yet, the best accompaniments to oysters are light, clean and crisp wines that speak less to winter than to the summer currently being enjoyed at the bottom of the world.
To help you wash down these delectable bivalves and dream of the warm weather to come, we asked our reviewers of Southern Hemisphere wines to share their favorite oyster pairings.
San Pedro 2014 1865 Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Leyda Valley); $20, 90 points.
Snappy aromas of briny citrus fruits, jalapeño and bell pepper leave no doubt that this is an oyster-friendly Sauvignon Blanc. The palate is minerally and crisp, with juicy acidity. Flavors of lime, pickle brine, gooseberry and wet stones finish bright and pure, with cleansing acidity. Shaw-Ross International Importers. —Michael Schachner
El Esteco 2014 Don David Reserve Torrontés (Calchaquí Valley); $17, 89 points.
Aromas of wild flowers, honey, lychee and citrus fruits announce a minerally palate with steely yet tropical flavors of tangerine and lychee. This is better cut than most Torrontés, with racy acidity that keeps the finish running. You won’t find oysters in northern Argentina, where this comes from, but it’ll travel well. Frederick Wildman & Sons Ltd. —M.S.
De Wetshof 2013 Lesca Chardonnay (Robertson); $24, 91 points.
This is an immensely attractive Chardonnay, brimming with upfront notes of wood-grilled apple, honeydew, Honeycomb cereal and buttered popcorn that will pair nicely with sweet Kumamoto or Pacific oysters. The wine’s bright citrus flavor, ample acidity and mineral streak give life to the palate and lift to the finish. Broadbent Selections, Inc. —Lauren Buzzeo
Jim Barry 2014 The Lodge Hill Dry Riesling (Clare Valley); $18, 91 points.
Nothing matches the cool salinity of a Coffin Bay oyster like the citrusy zest of South Australian Riesling—it’s the Down Under version of Belon and Muscadet. This wine matches other oysters almost as well, its tactile dustiness and mouthwatering flavors lingering on the finish. Negociants USA, Inc. Editors’ Choice. —Joe Czerwinski
Quartz Reef NV Methode Traditionnelle Brut (Central Otago); $32, 90 points.
Give your oysters a festive sendoff by following them with this crisp bubbly from the South Island. The low dosage (7 g/L) allows the wine’s citrusy acids to shine when juxtaposed against the richness of Pacific oysters. Station Imports Inc. —J.C.