Here in Berkeley, we are getting ready to celebrate Oyster Bliss, the mother of all KLWM parties. At our last major event featuring oysters, over three thousand ill-fated bivalves met their end at the hands of our skilled shuckers, so consider this message a warning to countless more of the delicious mollusks: your days are hereby limited. As mysterious as the age-old question, “Who in the world decided to crack one of those rock-looking things open, and then had the cojones to put that slimy creature in their mouth??” is the equally curious rumination of who was the first to let their grape juice rot and decided the results were worthy of re-creating. Could these two serendipitous developments have evolved analogously? In a place like the Pays Nantais, on France’s Atlantic coast, it is tempting to entertain such speculation: when that bin of grapes went sour, producing an intoxicating nectar recalling the brisk, salty ocean winds that batter the shoreline, could it have prompted adventurous locals to create the first-ever wine-and-oyster pairing? Perhaps we’ll never know the answers to these timeless questions. But we do know that the vine—once its fruits have been miraculously transformed by sugar-crazed microorganisms —can provide us with the perfect accompaniments to the ocean’s stone-shaped aphrodisiac. They are crisp, briny whites, rosés, and sparklers teeming with racy acidity, and they come from places like the Loire Valley, Chablis, the Languedoc, and Liguria. This discounted selection of our six top oyster wines—bright, fresh, delicious, and full of saline minerality—will have you covered whether or not you can make it to this year’s Oyster Bliss celebration. Bivalves, beware!
I want you to realize once and for all: Even the winemaker does not know what aging is going to do to a new vintage; Robert Parker does not know; I do not know. We all make educated (hopefully) guesses about what the future will bring, but guesses they are. And one of the pleasures of a wine cellar is the opportunity it provides for you to witness the evolution of your various selections. Living wines have ups and downs just as people do, periods of glory and dog days, too. If wine did not remind me of real life, I would not care about it so much.
Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol
Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/bpa