Summer 2016, Ottawa, ON.
By: Matt Steeves, Sommelier and Wine Writer.
I LOVE Sauvignon Blanc and I love fresh oysters. So naturally when I saw this pairing I had to share!
Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc represents some of the best of what New Zealand has to offer, with fresh, vivid flavours that consistently showcase the diverse qualities of New Zealand’s Marlborough region. Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc can be found at the LCBO for $16.95.
Here are some tips for enjoying Oysters at home:
The 5 ‘S’ To Enjoy Oysters at Home:
SELECT. SHUCK. SERVE. SAVOUR. SAUVIGNON BLANC.
“Oysters, like wine, have a tendency to bring people together, open up conversation, throw inhibitions to the side and make a party unique.” John Belknap, owner of John & Sons Oyster House
Ten Tips To Select Oysters
- Buy oysters from a local fish monger and ask for ‘Select’ or ‘Choice’ grade oysters.
- Look for oysters that are tightly closed. Avoid oysters that have a soft or spongy shell.
- Choose oysters that are slightly rounded and evenly shaped, with a deep cup.
- The oyster should feel full. Tap on the shell, if it sounds hollow, put it back, it’s probably dead.
- A fresh oyster should smell like the ocean. If it smells off, you will know it’s not fresh.
- Plan to buy for 3 – 6 oysters per person.
- Size doesn’t matter when it comes to taste.
- Oyster flavour varies depending on the marine environment in which they are grown – “Merrior – similar to how terroir affects the complex taste of a specific wine – the flavour of the oyster varies depending on the marine environment in which it is grown.” John Belknap, owner of John & Sons Oyster House.
- You can get fresh oysters all year long. Depending on the season, weather and availability, you can get fresh oysters from either Canadian coast. During Canadian summer months, enjoy oysters from the southern hemisphere where it is currently winter, like New Zealand, and the cold waters produce firm plump oysters.
- When you bring the oysters home, store cup side down in a box or well ventilated basket in the refrigerator until ready to shuck and serve.
“Here in the Marlborough Sounds we have a Pacific Rock Oyster which is just delicious. The problem is, sometimes I find myself on a rocky piece of coast, surrounded by Rock Oysters, and the dilemma then becomes ‘how shredded am I prepared to let my fingers become before I’ve had enough oysters?’”
Dave Edmonds, Nobilo Winemaker
Five Easy Steps to Shuck an Oyster
Quick tip: Shuck just before serving. No more than an hour before consumption, preferably when your guests arrive – it is a great conversation starter.
- Items you need: Clean dish towel and oyster knife – Ensure you use a proper tool for shucking. An oyster knife costs about $8 -10.
- The flat part of the oyster is the lid and the rounded/deeper part is the cup – which holds the oyster and the briny liquid. The pointed end is the hinge. Lay the cup side down onto a dish towel and use the towel to securely hold the oyster down, with the hinge facing out.
- Insert the oyster knife through the hinge with the knife angled down. Twist the knife until you feel the hinge release.
- Then cut the two muscles by scraping the knife along the top of the shell to release the top muscle, then do the same to the bottom muscle. A quick hand motion down is best to release the bottom muscle without damaging the oyster meat.
- Check for any grit or shell fragments that may have fallen in and be careful not to spill any liquid.
SERVE, SAVOUR AND SIP
Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc and oysters are the ultimate summer pairing! The crisp citrusy flavours of the wine work superbly with the salty minerality of the oysters.
- Serve oysters on crushed ice or rock salt.
- Serve with fresh lemon wedges and freshly grated horseradish, your favourite spicy cocktail sauce or a simple mignonette sauce.
- Serve with Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc, and savour the fresh, crisp, clean and tropical fruit flavours of the wine.
- Slide oyster into your mouth, chew and swallow. Take a sip of wine. Enjoy. Repeat.
For a visual on how to shuck and serve oysters, check out the video on NobiloAndOysters.com.
“Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc is a great match with any oyster. Of course the pineapple, melon and citrus notes are enough to get the palate going, but the bottom line for me is the juicy acidity we find in the wine that’s the ultimate foil to the richness and salinity of the oyster. Perhaps a little mignonette with your oyster? Why not mix it up with Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc instead of the wine vinegar.”
Dave Edmonds, Nobilo Winemaker
DISCOVER NOBILO: ABOUT NOBILO SAUVIGNON BLANC
Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc represents the best of what New Zealand has to offer, with fresh, vivid classic flavours that consistently showcase the diverse qualities of the Marlborough region. Paired perfectly with seafood and summer salads, this wine offers aromas and flavours of tropical fruit. Available at the LCBO for $16.95.
For more information, visit www.nobilowines.com.
ABOUT JOHN BELKNAP, OWNER OF JOHN & SONS OYSTER HOUSE in Toronto,ON
John is the proud owner of John & Sons Oyster House, which he started in 2008. A neighbourhood oyster house that brings the ease of a maritime pub to the heart of Old Toronto. John considers himself a compulsive entrepreneur that has been involved in the hospitality industry since the age of 15.
His passion for oysters started at a party, where he saw oysters being shucked. As soon as those mysterious oysters started to be opened, he felt something magical happen. The room became more lively, like an energy was release. He had never seen this before – and so began his love of oyster shucking and passion for sharing the magic that comes with it. Follow @johnandsonsoysterhouse