There is an axiom in the wine and food pairing world: Champagne and oysters is the perfect pairing. I am not about to dispute this truth, but I am going to expand it a bit. Pairing any white wine with oysters is not a given; however, there is a white wine that can stand alongside all the oysters of the world, and that wine is Chablis.
Rowan Jacobsen has written Oysters & Chablis: A Pairing Guide on behalf of William Fèvre. This book is a no frills down guide on North American oysters, how to shuck and eat oysters, and the best wine pairings. I found it to be a very informative resource.
“Of all the white wines Ive explored, only Chablis seems to work with all oysters. (And Champagne, of course. Champagne goes with everything.) Its because of that distinctive seashell minerality. You sip the wine, slurp the oyster, go back to the wine, and spiritually, you’ve never left the coast of the ancient Jurassic sea.” Rowan Jacobsen, Oysters & Chablis.
The Wine: Keeping the oyster & Chablis pairing in mind, a good selection is William Fèvre’s Champs Royaux. The grapes are sourced throughout the Chablis region, are friendly to most types of oysters, and meant to be enjoyed in its youth. Since 1959, Domaine William Fèvre works passionately to express Chablis’ terroirs by respecting the regions environment and traditional practices. William Fèvre has become one of the biggest land owners in Chablis with 78 hectares of prestigious vineyards, of which 15.9 are classified as Premiers Crus and 15.2 as Grand Crus.
2015 William Fèvre Chablis Champs Royaux Burgundy France ($25): pale gold with lemon hues in the glass; medium aromas of fresh picked citrus, green apples, white stone fruit, white floral notes, and flinty minerality and crushed stone; dry with racy high acidity, fresh and elegant with a pleasant richness that lies on a firm bed of minerality, its energetic with a long finish that puckers the palate, leaving the mouth begging for another sip, my husband and I loved this wine, drank the entire bottle at dinner (unusual for us on a weeknight), I would gladly order more of this for future consumption; good news, this affordable Chablis is widely distributed, click here to locate this wine.
The Food: After explaining to you the beauty of the Chablis and oyster pairing, we hit a snag. The wonderful people at William Fèvre with the assistance of Gregory White PR had arranged for me to receive a dozen Pacific oysters from Taylor Shellfish Farms and a bottle of the Chablis. However, apparently Texas, a state that prides itself on capitalism and the free market, does not allow oysters to be shipped into the state from Washington (and other west and east coast states). Thankfully they had a Plan B, and what a delicious plan b it was…clams!
My Choice: I was disappointed to not experience the Chablis and oyster pairing this time, but was delighted to receive three pounds of fresh Manila Clams overnighted and packed in dry ice, directly from Puget Sound. The clams were beautiful. One thing I love about cooking clams is with a little prep a fast, easy, and delicious dinner can be on the table faster than the McDonald’s drive-thru. I chose a Red Curry, Coconut, and Ginger Infused Steamed Clams recipe along with Grilled Bok Choy “Wedge” with Blue Cheese- Buttermilk Dressing.
The Results: Winner Winner Chablis and clam dinner! The clams were delicious. It was a good recipe, slightly creamy and sweet with a mild kick on the back of the palate. The bok choy was also really good. The grilling brought out its earthiness and the faux buttermilk dressing with blue cheese added a tanginess. All the flavors of a wedge without all the guilt so you can save your splurge for another meal. As I already said the wine was great, would gladly buy and drink again. It paired very well with the meal but I must confess I am still hungry for the oysters. To be continued….
My Song Selection:
Get your own bottle of William Fèvre Chablis Champs Royaux and let me know what song you pair with it. Cheers!