Channeling Papa, a Wine and Oyster Event

by u235craig | May 1st, 2013

Last thursday, I spent my afternoon at The Anthony’s Home Port restaurant at Shilshole Bay. For about 10 years I have been a judge at the Taylor Shellfish Wine and Oyster Pairing Competition.
This wine event is very unique. The wine and oysters are served ice cold. The wine is not to be swirled or smelled. Take an incredibly fresh Kumomoto Oyster into your mouth and chew it up. Then wash it down with with one of the wines. The key is which oyster wine combination gives me the best “Bliss Factor”. Many times wine tasting is not tasting but smelling. This event is all about mouth feel.
John Rowley the man in charge of the event likes to quote Ernest Hemmingway from “The Moveable Feast” at the start of each judging in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle. I think Papa would have a great time at this event.
My perspective is that this function is the ultimate “Umami” experience. Umami is a Japanese concept that our sense of taste: sweet, salt, bitter and acid has another reaction. That reaction is the taste of perfection. A perfectly ripe piece of fruit, a baked potato with condiments, anything we eat that causes a reaction of “WOW!”. I usually get one or two wine and oyster pairings that are off the charts. This usually causes my scores to differ from the other judges. I make notes like “incredible oyster”.
The difference I think in my results and those of some other judges are based on my belief that this is a moment that must be enjoyed to the fullest. Ernest would understand.
I did pick 6 of the winning wines.
The winning wines are as follows in alphabetical order:
Cedergreen Cellars 2011 Sauvignon Blanc

Chat. St. Michelle 2012 Sauvignon Blanc

Dry Creek 2012 Dry Chenin Blanc

Geyser Peak 2012 Sauvignon Blanc

Kunde 2012 Sauvignon Blanc

Long Meadow Ranch 2012 Sauvignon Blanc

Three Pears 2012 Pinot Grigio

Trefethen 2012 Dry Riesling

Vinoce 2012 sauvignon Blanc

Wilamette Valley 2011 Pinot Grigio

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I grew up with a family that was truly Northwest. We were Hunter/Gathers. From clam digging and crabbing at Grayland, Huckleberry picking at Mount Adams, Salmon fishing and a Bear Hunt on the Straits of Juan De Fuca, Camping at my Aunt and Uncles Cabin at Monte Cristo, Oysters at The Doseiwallups on the Canal to Trout Fishing in British Columbia; I enjoyed it all growing up. We ate really good with the things we got. I learned well at a young age to enjoy life. Preparing a fine meal and pairing the wine to go with it can be intimidating. It doesn't have to be. It is and should be fun. So come along listen to my stories, try out my original recipes, and enjoy the wines I suggest. You might Like it!



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