What Goes Best With Oysters? Oyster Food and Wine Pairing


The well-known statement of Charles Dickens that oysters go hand in hand with poverty will cause at least bewilderment among today’s gourmets. This shellfish is considered an exquisite delicacy and is served in elite restaurants accompanied by expensive wine. Oysters are one of the most famous delicacies that everyone loves and hates at the same time. This is a product that is overgrown with a lot of metaphors, myths and legends.

Not many people have tried this delicacy and know what goes best with oysters. Let’s find out what the best oyster food and wine pairings are.

What goes well with oysters for dinner? Oysters go well with lemon or wine vinegar with green onions and weightless crunchy toasts made from white and rye bread. Oyster crackers and horseradish go well with oysters, too. Oyster crackers are added to the sauce, and horseradish can be added both to the sauce and to the oyster meat itself.

But these are not the only options that go well with oysters. What to pair with oysters? Let’s dive into this.

What Goes Well With Oysters for Dinner? Oyster Food and Wine Pairing

What goes best with oysters? Rye croutons, black or white bread with butter go best with raw oysters. A variety of sauces based on wine vinegar or lemon juice go well with oysters, too. The minion sauce is the most common sauce for oysters. Recently, restaurateurs have begun to choose Asian hot soy sauces for oysters. 

What appetizers go with oysters? Oysters in restaurants are served raw on a dish with ice. Oysters go well with fresh lemon, balsamic or raspberry vinegar or tabasco sauce. A good addition to oysters can be a spoonful of red or black caviar or tender avocado puree.

It is impossible to imagine fresh oysters without lemon, which is traditionally served on the dish. Some countries serve pomegranate juice, lime slices, Tabasco sauce, slices of fresh bread and butter. Oysters are usually not salted. A classic drink with a dish is white or rosé wine. The French love the champagne delicacy. The Dutch prefer to swallow oysters with ease, with light beer. By the way, like healthy zinc, 100 g of oysters contain 165% of the daily value.

Usually, oysters are not served alone. Restaurants serve either 6 or 12 oysters on one plate, but this is just a tradition. Also, doctors do not recommend eating a lot of oysters as not every stomach can withstand such a powerful protein attack. It’s not bad if the oysters are opened in front of you at the restaurant, and if they brought them open, smell them. If they taste like the sea, then oysters are fresh.

A fresh oyster reacts to acid. After opening, sprinkle oysters with lemon juice. Observe how the oyster reacts to it—a live mollusk wrinkles slightly from the acid.

Oysters are served on a round dish, in the center of which there is vinegar or wine essence, lemon wedges, sour or spicy Tabasco sauce, and sometimes brown bread toasts. In different countries, oysters can be served in their own way, but regardless of geography, lemon is always served with them. It disinfects and balances the taste.

But the offered sauces may well correspond to the gastronomic mentality of a country or region: for example, in Florida, many restaurants serve oysters with ketchup and mustard, purely American style, or they can bring French fries.

What to Drink With Oysters

What should you drink with oysters? According to the recommendations of sommeliers, oysters are served with dry white wine or sparkling wine (champagne). Dry white wine emphasizes the taste of oysters. Wine should be without a pronounced sharp taste and a rich bouquet flavor, slightly chilled (10-15 °C). This wine can highlight the exquisite taste of oysters.

What should you not drink with oysters? Almost all alcohol goes well with oysters; however, it is not very common to drink vodka, sake or cognac with oysters. Oysters go best with high-quality brut champagne and young wine “Muscadet” or white “Antre-de-Mer”, Loire Sauvignon Blanc, or New Zealand Sauvignon.

It is appropriate to serve cold, young wine to oysters “Muscadet” or white “Entre-de-Mer” with oysters. For more exquisite accompaniment, opt for Loire Sauvignon Blanc or New Zealand Sauvignon. If oysters are served with butter, then here more serious wine is required, for example, a seasoned Chablis will do.

Also, as an accompaniment to oysters, sommeliers recommend white wines:

  • Elegant Sauvignon Blanc with citrus and gooseberry aromas;
  • Filled with the freshness of Pinot Grigio;
  • Riesling striking with the brightness of the flower bouquet;
  • Burgundy Chardonnay with fruity notes;
  • Chablis with apple flavor;
  • Dry Sherry Fino;
  • Hungarian Tokaj and premium brands of Alsatian winemakers.

Oysters go well with not only white wine. An excellent accompaniment for oysters will be pink Bandol and red young Sancerre. When choosing a drink for oysters, you should be guided only by your taste and preferences. In some oyster bars, serve light beers and limes with the main course.

How to Eat Oysters?

The serving of oysters is dictated not by the desire for the dish to be remembered for its spectacular presentation but by the need to preserve it. Oysters are served on a slide of ice, already open. The ice keeps the food fresh for the next half hour. Therefore, try not to put off this dish until later, but eat it after serving.

  1. Drizzle with lemon juice or additives vinegar. Pour it straight into the sink.
  2. Take a special oyster knife or fork and cut the leg of the oyster.
  3. Add sauce to an oyster or remove oyster and dip in the sauce. Oysters are seasoned with olive oil or sour and hot Tabasco sauce.
  4. Use a fork to send the oyster into your mouth. In an informal setting, oysters are eaten by simply dropping them in your mouth and drinking the juice from the shell.

What to cook with oysters? A dietary product packed with amino acids also contains selenium and zinc and can be consumed with other food. The seemingly shiny shellfish meat looks fat, but this is an illusion. It is loaded with glucose and contains only 60 calories per 100 grams. Thus, with oysters, you can lose weight without harming health by using them in combination with other products.

If you are mentally not ready to eat raw oysters, you can eat oysters with béchamel sauce, mushrooms, garlic, cheese, tomatoes, onions, celery. However, prolonged heat treatment reduces the beneficial properties. Therefore, we recommend the following recipe. Take slices of bacon and wrap the oyster meat from the shells in them. Pierce the rolls horizontally with wooden skewers and fry on both sides in a pan or grill for 2 minutes. The appetizer can be effectively placed on hot mini white bread toasts.

Like any expensive product, oysters are not an everyday gastronomic pleasure. However, there are enough fans of the dish. An average of 770 thousand tons of oysters are eaten on the planet annually.

What do oysters taste and smell like? An oyster smells nice of the sea and iodine, has a pronounced taste of seafood. And to feel the taste of the mollusk even better, it is recommended to serve it with white wine or stronger drinks. By the way, you can eat oysters raw and cook them in different ways and make a variety of dishes: bake, boil, fry, stew, marinate, etc.

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