Oysters and Muscadet: Does it get any better?

When hanging out with fellow food obsessed friends and wine nerds, I often throw the following question out to the crowd to see the responses it will elicit:

If forced to choose, what would be your “electric chair” food and wine pairing?

In other words, what would you eat and drink for your very last meal on God’s little green earth. Inevitably, names like DRC, Lafite, d’Yquem and Krug weave their way into the conversation, matched with foods like duck breast, Wagyu, Foie Gras, and Sturgeon Caviar.

Even though I love posing the question, I always wrestle with an answer. Tonight though, from the comfort of home, I believe I settled on an answer. Oysters & Muscadet.

The oysters come from East Dennis Oyster Farm, Cape Cod. Plump, sweet and juicy, they’re at the pinnacle of the season right now. I personally like to add just a thimble full of red wine vinegar to each. I was lucky enough to pull the perfect bottle to go alongside my deathbed dish.

2005 Luneau-Papin Muscadet de Sèvre-et-Maine pueri solis:

Golden straw color, surprisingly deep color for Muscadet. Classic nose of oyster shell coupled with toasted pine nuts, lemon and a touch of grassiness. Palate is very round and leesy, with honeyed lemon, apple and mineral notes coming through. Long, full, almost salty finish. Anyone who has tried to refute the notion of minerality in wine is sure to have their mind changed after a glass of this.

Aged 42 months on the lees, this isn’t your everyday bottle of Muscadet. A gorgeously textured and complex wine, it could probably improve with a couple more years of age. But why wait? You never know when your last meal will come…

Dude- you are making my mouth water. I haven’t had too many east coast oysters, but those sound up my alley. There is a nice oyster place in downtown Seattle, I think I’ll bring a Muscadet along next time I go in.

Sounds great, but to answer your question.







Someone posted once about Sauternes pairing well (from some old French recipe) - they were wrong.

And Dauv. 1er crus are affordable for sure. Pricey relative to Muscadet, but not so relative to other great white burgundy. I recently tried a Keller GG with some oysters too - not a great pairing, but certainly an interesting contrast.


Someone recently told me that Tokaji 3 goes well with oysters. They too, were wrong. I’ll stick to the dry and crisp with my bivalves.

Nice but I’m with Mike, good Champagne or Chablis…a lot better!

It gets better with a great Champagne. [basic-smile.gif]
But it is a personal preference.


Have had oysters twice within the last two weeks. Once with a bottle of Pierre Peters, and once with a bottle of Domaine Vincent Dauvissat Chablis Vaillons 2007. For my taste, the Dauvissat was more enjoyable.

A bit of a tangent here, but my wife and I were in DC about a month ago and had lunch at Hank’s Oyster Bar…we just talked earlier tonight about needing to get back there.

wonder what the oysters’ perspective would be.
(I love 'em, too–oysters and Muscadet.)

I think that preferences for wine to go with oysters correlate with oyster preferences. Me, I’m a Muscadet man. But rich and sweet is not what I look for in my oysters; I like tiny and briny. Though I do like me some Olys (as featured in The Art of Eating), Nathan V. has convinced me that the Quilcenes are supreme.

Whichever you favor, Puget Sound oysters are better a few weeks from now IMO. Not that they’re bad now, mind.

Kumamotos and Malpeques for me–tiny and briny, indeed.

I couldn’t love oysters more, and by far my happiest oyster memory is sucking them back with Muscadet on the sidewalk outside of Baron Brouge on a Sunday afternoon in Paris last fall. Sure, the environment had something to do with it and I’d never turn down serious Chablis or Champagne with oysters, but I do love Muscadet and I’m completely with you as it being a truly great oyster paring.


Believe me, I think a '96 Salon, Raveneau with a few years age, and so many others could have gone equally well with the oysters. But for me, there was something about the “everydayness” (I think I made that word up) that the Muscadet represented, making it that much better. Under $20 and an absolutely gorgeously complex wine.

Haven’t tried the Quilcenes. Don’t sell good old Wellfleet’s short, or the Malpeque cousins from Nova Scotia and Cape Breton…not to mention French Arcachons. Muscadet and Petit Chablis. Working men’s wines for a product requiring hard work.


And drop by the Walrus and the Carpenter in Ballard for a plate of Shigokus with a bottle of Muscadet! I think I’m in agreement with Jon and Richard on the value of Muscadet in this regard, but I don’t think I’d turn down any of the suggestions in this thread.

Huet Sec also does a damn fine job with oysters.

I agree with the Chablis comments…had a Fevre PC with some bluepoints on Friday which was a decent pairing. I also enjoy a good Sancerre, which typically works quite well.

I suspect that one of the reasons we like oysters is that they show such variation of flavors when sourced from different places or sub-species. Given this, the perfect wine pairing can vary too, but that’s the fun of it. I agree that my go-to wines with oysters are crisp - sauvignon blancs or chenin blancs from the Loire or New Zealand sauvignon blanc, Champagne (Blanc des Blancs or Chardonnay-dominated Brut), Chablis, Macon, even mineral-driven whites from the Cote de Beaune.

As a related aside, I am convinced that cold waters are required for great oysters. All of my experiences with Gulf and Southeastern oysters are that they are relatively bland compared to those from the colder Pacific coast. I will have to look into some of the northern Atlantic coastal offerings from what I’ve read here.


Just had this pueri solis '09 with fish cakes. Beautiful! What a fantastic wine. Drinks like a dream. One of the best whites I’ve had in some time.

I find it very food-friendly, paired fine with a salad (with a mayonnaise, ie not very acid dressing) and with dessert (raspberry and coconut sorbet) as well.

Nice mention of the W & C.

Highly recommended reading -

Geography of Oysters: The Connoisseur’s Guide to Oyster Eating in North America, Rowan Jacobsen. A Geography of Oysters: The Connoisseur's Guide to Oyster Eating in North America by Rowan Jacobsen, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®