Choosing a wine to pair with oysters

An annual competition provides a list of great wines to have with oysters. (Greg Gilbert / Seattle Times / MCT / April 29, 2013)

Which wine should you serve with oysters? For the most part, I’ll confess, my immediate answer is: "Yes."

Really, when you’re eating oysters, it’s the shellfish that comes first. But the wine matters too. And so Jon Rowley and Taylor Shellfish Farms hold the annual Pacific Coast Oyster Wine Competition to narrow the field.

Final judging for the annual competition -- the 19th -- was held last week, with winners announced Monday. The wines were scored by a panel of judges in three cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.

Photos: White wines: 4 crisp favorites

You may notice that the winning wines are not the kind that usually dominate wine tastings-- they are not flashy or oaky. Instead, they tend to be crisp, fresh and, with few exceptions, relatively inexpensive.

Winners included some familiar names from previous oyster wine competitions, as usual. Seven of the top 10 finishers had won previous competitions, and five of them were multiple winners.

The multiple winners include:

2011 Cedargreen Cellars Sauvignon Blanc and 2012 Chateau Ste. Michele’s Sauvignon Blanc from Washington state, and 2012 Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc and 2012 Kunde Sauvignon Blanc, as well as 2012 Dry Creek Chenin Blanc from California.

Other repeat winners are 2012 Three Pears Pinot Grigio from California and 2012 Willamette Valley Pinot Grigio from Oregon. Newcomers to the group are the 2012 Long Meadow Ranch Sauvignon Blanc, 2012 Trefethen Riesling and 2012 Vinoce Sauvignon Blanc, all from California.

The competition was close. My personal favorite didn’t make the top 10, but I found the 2011 Willow Crest Pinot Gris from Washington to be absolutely perfect. So there.

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