Anyone who knows anything about pairing wine with food certainly holds this as a universal truth: you don’t drink red wine with oysters. EVER. (That said, a flabbergasting number of sommeliers have described to me excruciating moments when a customer will order a big Cabernet with their Kumamotos. Gross.)
Leave it to Derek Brown, the brains behind some of Washington DC’s best bars (Columbia Room, Southern Efficiency, Mockingbird Hill) to prove us all wrong. At his Eat the Rich oyster bar in the Shaw neighborhood, he has a little section of red wine on his drinks list – but it’s a very precisely engineered list of wines.
“Harsh tannins and oysters are terrible together,” says Brown. “It makes this weird, pungent taste and accentuates the salinity in the oysters. But I know that people like red wine, so I wanted to give it a try, at least.” So he tasted through a bunch of wines and here are three that actually worked.