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Wines that go well with raw oysters

Wines that go well with raw oysters
Sauvignon glass pouring. (Beatrice de Gea / Los Angeles Times)

Looking for something to drink with those oysters? Keep it simple. Sure, Champagne is always festive, and if you're in a classic mood you could go with Muscadet, Sancerre or Chablis. But you can't really do better than a clean, solidly made West Coast white.

In general, these aren't the flashy kinds of wines that normally win wine tastings. Normal wine tastings anyway. After almost 20 years as a judge at the Pacific Coast Oyster Wine Competition, I've learned that what oysters really want in a wine is something cold and crisp, not overly fruity and definitely no oak.

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We're talking about wines made from grapes such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc. And we're usually talking about wines that cost less than $15 a bottle.

There are a few wines that have won the competition repeatedly. In fact, of last year's top 10 wines, seven had won before. The Acrobat Pinot Gris, Foris Pinot Blanc and the Van Duzer Pinot Gris from Oregon; the Chateau Ste. Michelle Sauvignon Blanc from Washington and the Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc, Kenwood Pinot Gris and Kenwood Sauvignon Blanc from California were all multiple winners.

Follow me on Twitter @russ_parsons1

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