john.jpg
Photo by Leslie Kelly
Jon Rowley's found his bliss with this year's Oyster Wine Competition winners.
Hey fellow lushes! Excuse me for a sec while

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Top 10 Wines For Slurping With Oysters

john.jpg
Photo by Leslie Kelly
Jon Rowley's found his bliss with this year's Oyster Wine Competition winners.
Hey fellow lushes! Excuse me for a sec while I wipe the oyster juice off my chin. The Wino had the pleasure earlier this week of slurping a few Shoguku at Taylor Shellfish and washing those tumbled gems from the sea down with winners from this year's 18th annual Oyster Wine Competition. It was pure bliss.

That's exactly what Jon Rowley, the organizer of this bivavle-centric competition, had in mind when he cooked up this ultimate exercise in pairing a single food and wine. He instructs judges at these tastings in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle to look for "the bliss factor" when evaluating the wine's worthiness. "A great oyster wine should set you up for the next oyster," he said.

In this case, it's truly about thinking of wine as a condiment, the salsa if an oyster was a tortilla chip. (I swear, that's the only semi-Cinco de Mayo reference you'll hear outta The Wino on the eve of a day devoted to wasting away in Margaritaville.)

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Say what? You don't like oysters? They're slippery and slimy and you can't imagine tipping a shell to your mouth and eating one?

Well, let me pour you a great big glass of Hogue's Pinot Grigio. (Which The Wino wrote fondly about in January.) Or how about the super sexy Cedargreen Sauv blanc? Maybe the downright delish Millbrandt Pinot Gris? All these Oyster Wine Winners have a few things in common: They're from Washington state. They're sharp and fruity. Like a Honey Crisp. And they make oysters taste like bacon.

OK, just pulling your hambone on that one. But if bacon makes everything better, these wines up oyster's already high numbers on the umami scale. (Umami's Japanese for hell yum.)

Still not convinced? Well, you could start your oyster eating journey cooked, maybe with an order of 'em, crispy fried at Blueacre Seafood. Or an oyster po-boy from Where Ya At Matt. Mmm, bet those winning wines would be wonderful with that sloppy good sammie.

Here are the Top 10 2012 Oyster Wines:

Brandborg 2010 Pinot Gris (OR)

Cedergreen Cellars 2010 Sauvignon Blanc (WA)

Dry Creek Vineyard 2011 Dry Chenin Blanc (CA)

Foris Vineyard Winery 2010 Pinot Blanc (OR)

Hogue Cellars 2010 Pinot Grigio (WA)

Kenwood Vineyards 2011 Pinot Gris, Russian River (CA)

Kenwood Vineyards 2011 Sauvignon Blanc (CA)

Milbrandt Vineyards 2010 Traditions Pinot Gris (WA)

Sockeye 2010 Pinot Gris (WA)

Van Duzer Vineyards 2011 Pinot Gris (OR)

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