16 September 2013

Chilean Sauvignon Blanc and Oysters

Is this a dagger which I see before me?

No, it is an oyster knife, something I've always wanted to own. I don't think I've ever seen one for sale around here, and it's not something that I thought about ordering online since I don't open a lot of oysters. This is a crucial kitchen tool for opening what looks like an inedible rock and also one of the murder weapons available in the New England release of the board game Clue [citation needed].

Structurally, the knife is not sharp and while it is possible to hurt yourself, it is engineered to work more like a woodworking tool than anything you keep in your tidy knife block on the counter. With the palm-sized rounded wooden handle and short flat blade, it operates more like an awl or a chisel.

The knife came packaged with a set of four Sauvignon Blancs from Wines of Chile and the suggestion to pair them with oysters. I leapt at the opportunity and immediately grabbed a dozen oysters from the international market to practice. It's a little hard to explain the technique, but you just use the point to coax it open a little and then the rest is a twisting motion. If you just stab at it blindly you're liable to drive it through your palm.

For the occasion, I made a traditional mignonette sauce with sherry vinegar, white wine vinegar, and minced shallots. I also tried a little of the Gold's prepared beets and horseradish. The former was delicious, while the latter provided a curious if messy treat.

The bright white wines proved to be a good balance against the buttery, salty molluscs. Here are brief reviews of the quartet:

2012 William Cole Columbine Special Reserve Sauvignon Blanc
Casablanca Valley
100% Sauvignon Blanc
$15, 13% abv.

The lightest of the tasting, this one was tart and lemony with good minerality. My favorite wine with oysters is Sancerre (also made from Sauvignon Blanc), and this one was the closest to that style.

2012 MontGras Reserva Sauvignon Blanc
San Antonio Valley
100% Sauvignon Blanc
$9, 13.5% abv.

Got a little whiff of asparagus on this one, not quite a sulfur taint but more of a pyrazine herbal quality that I enjoyed. Restrained grapefruit aromas and flavors with a clean finish.

2012 Cono Sur Bicicleta Sauvignon Blanc
San Antonio Valley
100% Sauvignon Blanc
$9, 13% abv.

There's a touch of sweetness that slides into medium acidity with a soft mouthfeel. Particularly good with some of the tangy mignonette sauce.

2012 Mayu Sauvignon Blanc
Elqui Valley
100% Sauvignon Blanc
$15, 13% abv.

This was our favorite of the four. Light and mild with gentle citrus aromas and flavors, and a smooth and round body that was pleasant and easy to drink. Outstanding balance in all directions.

Note: These wines were provided as samples.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We have some really good wines for ou Oysters!

Chile is a well known wine producer and we produce one of the best Chilean wines of all. We offer bulk wine, bag in box wine,private label wine and wholesale wine. Visit us to know more about Chile wines.

Chile wines