Twelve Pacific Northwest wines have been selected as equal winners of the prestigious "Oyster Award" after competing in the 14th annual Pacific Coast Oyster Wine Competition, dubbed the ultimate "dating service" for oysters and wines.
Seven California, three Oregon and two Washington wines prevailed over a record 200 entries, typically dry, crisp and clean-finishing white wines. All wines are tasted blind with Kumamoto oysters.
This year's winners included nine Sauvignon Blancs, two Pinot Gris and one Pinot Blanc.
The winning wines from California include: Clayhouse Vineyard '06 Sauvignon Blanc, Clos du Bois Winery '06 Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Creek Vineyard '06 Sonoma County Fume Blanc, Girard Winery '06 Sauvignon Blanc, Kathryn Kennedy Winery '07 Sauvignon Blanc, Robledo Family Winery '06 Sauvignon Blanc and Simi's '06 Sauvignon Blanc.
The winning wines from Oregon include: Amity Vineyards '06 Pinot Blanc, Van Duzer Vineyards '07 Pinot Gris and Willamette Valley Vineyards '07 Pinot Gris.
The winning wines from Washington were Covey Run Winery '06 Fume Blanc and Chateau Ste. Michelle '06 Columbia Valley Sauvignon Blanc.
The competition, organized by founder Jon Rowley, was held at the Water Grill in Los Angeles, Sutro's at the Cliff House in San Francisco and Anthony's HomePort in Seattle. Forty prominent food and wine writers and restaurateurs served as judges, who rated each wine by its "bliss factor," or the wine's affinity with the oyster.
Typically, 10 wines are deemed the winners, but because of the number of wines that impressed the judges, two additional awards were granted for a total of 12.
The competition was sponsored by Taylor Shellfish Farms in Shelton, Wash.
"The search for wines to go with oysters adds to culture and excitement of oysters," said Bill Taylor, president of Taylor Shellfish, in a press release. "The acclaim by the wine and restaurant industries as well as the media makes it fun for everyone."