Blue Points Rock

Max Fish ( Max Fish”) and Priam Vineyards created a perfect antidote to the winter blues Monday night with a wine and Connecticut seafood tasting. The evening reaffirmed my views on local oysters and opened my eyes to new horizons in wine.

Larry and I learned about the event when we ate dinner at Max’s a couple of weeks ago, and even though I couldn’t entice any my usual dining companions, I took the plunge and am ever so glad I did.

The first oysters were from Noank, one of those  places in Connecticut (other than the state) that retains its Native name. These gems offered up meaty flesh in a medium sized shell. I got a good bit of salt when I tipped the liquor from the shell into my mouth and so may not be giving a fair report. The Noanks were paired with a Barrel Select Chardonnay. This wine restored my faith in American Chards, as it leans much more toward the French dry and citrus flavors than the syrupy oak that messes up a great many of the California variety.

The second pairing was a revelation. Blue Point oysters remain my favorite, with a deep cup and meaty bulk. They put Connecticut on the national oyster map more than 100 years ago, according to the chef. They are perfectly balanced, large, and  I still love them. The Gewurztraminer formed a perfect match. I’m shocked to be writing this because I’ve never tasted a G. that I didn’t pass over in favor of the next wine. But I would not only drink this one again, I’d buy it. It deserves the medals that it’s won.

I’d never had Briar Patch oysters before. The slight iodine flavor enticed and stood up to the Dry Riesling, which has also won medals. Personally, I would have paired the G. with these oysters. But then I’m not great on “semi-dry.”

The last pairing involved a Late Harvest Riesling, far too sweet for my taste, but I didn’t mind because it was served with a lobster parfait, a mousse with hints of flavors, including the wine, over substantial chunks of lobster. Sublime!

A couple of genius moves.

  • the oyster chef offered an educational handout on sustainable oysters. “A Brief History of the Connecticut ‘Natural Growth’ Oyster Industry” makes me feel part of history and virtuous for contributing to the growth of a local enterprise.
  • the placemats had four circles, one for each glass, which included a description of the wine being poured.

A couple of suggestions:

  • offer oyster crackers or something neutral besides water to clear the palate between tastings.
  • allow more than 45 minutes per tasting. We started a few minutes late because they needed to clear from the first tasting and I felt I was being rushed, especially with the wines.

I’m anticipating the next pairing.

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2 Responses to “Blue Points Rock”

  1. Betsy Says:

    Liz,

    If you can find it, try the Gewurztraminer by Brandborg of Oregon. Light, crisp, with pear overtones. Very nice!

  2. Lizr128′s Blog Says:

    […] cocktail was excellent, though it still didn’t measure up to the mega shrimp at Max Fish (“Blue Points Rock” and previous entries). We observed the next table and realized our waiter had neglected to […]

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