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Shelling the myth of oysters and wine

Provided to the Tribune

TAHOE CITY – The Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival goes a bit coastal next month as it highlights the succulent and lusty taste of freshly-shucked Pacific Coast oysters on Sept. 30 at the Resort at Squaw Creek in Olympic Valley.

The interactive tasting and seminar will also emphasize how to best pair a wine with this unique shellfish.

“There are very few wines that work well with oysters,” Jon Rowley, founding director of the Pacific Coast Oyster Wine Competition, said. “We’ll be reviewing the characteristics of those wines, as well as pairing award-winning wines with oysters on the half shell.”

Rowley will be facilitating the tasting with Bill Taylor, president of Taylor Shellfish Farms out of Shelton, Washington. Rowley notes that important characteristics of “oyster wines” are that they are white, dry, crisp, clean, refreshing and light. The wine should be uncomplicated (lacking a big oaky Chardonnay, sweet or buttery flavor) while not getting in the way of the next oyster. Pinot Grigios, and dry Chenin and Sauvignon Blancs have all received honors at the competition, which is judged by oyster-loving wine and food professionals in Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco each April.

“The cuisine found in North Lake Tahoe is innovative, fresh and creative,” Judy Laverty, special projects manager for the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association and festival coordinator, said. “But in addition to showcasing our area chefs and restaurants, it’s important to highlight facets of today’s culinary scene. We’re pleased to have Jon and Bill come down from Washington and share their secrets about oysters.”

Tickets for “There’s Something About Oysters” scheduled for 11:15 a.m., are on sale for $65 per person and are available at http://www.PureTahoeNorth.com or by calling (888) 229-2193.

Festival tickets can also be purchased at the North Lake Tahoe Visitor Information Center at 380 North Lake Boulevard in Tahoe City.

The Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival is comprised of four days of activities, events and dining experiences Sept. 28 through Oct. 1 at venues and restaurants around North Lake Tahoe. Events include a lakeside grape stomp; Kings Beach Passport to Dining; Truckee Wine, Walk and Shop; wine tastings and seminars; cooking demonstrations and Blazing Pans Mountain Chef Cook-off. The festival culminates with the Grand Tasting and Culinary Competition at the Resort at Squaw Creek Sunday, Oct. 1.


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