Oyster Wine 2011 – And The Winners Are….

It was such a pleasure covering the Pacific Coast Oyster Wine Competition  2011!! The journey started in Seattle at Anthony’s on Shilshole early April. 119  entries were narrowed down over four days to select the 20 semi-finalists. From there, the wines went on tour to Los Angeles and San Francisco. There were 14 judges at the finals back at Anthony’s in Seattle last Thursday, April 28th, all seasoned professionals. Their job: to pick the top 10 wines to pair with Kumamoto oysters out of the 20 semi-finalists. The key to judging – it’s more about the oyster. The wine should be crisp, typically dry with a clean finish.

The winners were announced this morning via press release,  and I couldn’t wait to see who they are!!

Out of the 20 semi-finalists, the judges scores from all three cities selected 4 crisp Sauvignon Blancs, 4 lively refreshing Pinot Gris, and 2 oyster friendly blends as equal winners of the month long Pacific Coast Oyster Wine Competition, and proud recipients of the prestigious 2011 “Oyster Award”.

Jon Rowley,  started off the final judging day covering the rules with the judges and also introduced the “Master Shucker” of the 70 dozen oysters for this event…no small job!!! They had to be just right…and they were. Anthony’s did such a wonderful job hosting this event. Everything was great!!!

Three of the judges, from left to right…Bill Taylor, President of Taylor Shellfish Farms, the Sponsor of this wonderful event. Chris Nishiwaki, Food and Wine Writer, and Tom Arthur, Senior Manager of Elliott’s Oyster House.

The judges settled in awaiting for the first flight to be served…

Let the judging begin…

After tasting, the judges all convened downstairs in the bar at Anthony’s to compare notes with Jon while enjoying some appetizers and ale. It was so great talking with all of them and hearing their thoughts on each wine. What was so clear about this event, it is so subjective…everyone has a unique palette. They were in agreement on a few of the winners. When that happens, you know it is a special wine.

To learn more about this event go to Jon’s site – www.oysterwine.com

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Photo above by Jon Rowley


Some of the winners have won multiple years…others are new to the event. All of them, will enjoy increased sales and recognition.

Once again, a very special Thank You to Taylor Shellfish Farms, the proud sponsor of this event. And to Anthony’s at Shilshole, Water Grill in Los Angeles, and Sutro’s at the Cliff House in San Francisco for hosting.

I can’t wait to go find these delightful wines to enjoy with my next plate of oysters. I learned so much from covering this event….Thank You Jon!!!

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