by u235craig | April 23rd, 2009
This afternoon about a dozen lucky folks in the food and wine business will meet with Jon Rowley of Taylor Shellfish. The place for this gathering is Anthony’s Restaurant near the Ballard Locks in Seattle. It is the third and final leg of one of the most unusual wine judgings anywhere.
This competition is based on the “bliss factor” of washing down a raw Kumomoto Oyster with a glass of ice cold white wine. Jon Rowley is a devotee of Ernest Hemmingway’s “A Moveable Feast”.
There is a wonderful passage Jon reads like a Litany before the judging begins with Hemmingway’s describing the act of eating an oyster as a sensual pleasure.
As do the group of judges in Los Angeles and San Francisco on preceding days, We each sit at a table that has 25 wine glasses each bearing a letter of the alphabet. A pencil and scoring sheet are also present. A small basket of bread sits next to the spot that a plate of a dozen iced “Kumos” on the half shell will be placed when the judging starts. Each time the plate is emptied more oysters are brought to each judge.
The judging is totally different than most wine judgings. The wine is served in a plain wrapper ice cold. No swirling and sniffing of the wine is allowed. What matters is how the wine feels and tastes as you wash down an icey bivalve.
The concept of mouth feel for wine is generally overlooked by most tasters. We put a lot of emphasis on smell and taste. Think about it, we have wine tastings. No one has wine feelings.
It is such a wonderful thing, sitting in a room overlooking one of Seattle’s Bays eating super fresh raw oysters and drinking wine. Deciding which wine and oyster combination gives the taster the maximum amount of Bliss. Life doesn’t get much better.
In a day or two when I get the results of the judging I will post it here.