We made it to January's Merroir Terroir at Terrapin. If you'll remember Merroir Terroir is the oyster and wine pairing dinner the restaurant hosts. Once again, Chris Ludford was our captain on our journey to enjoy our favorite bivalve—the oyster. Terrapin's Brian Williams perfectly paired our wines to compliment the oyster selection for the night.
Chris started off by talking a little bit the oysters we'd be having that night. Of course, we would be enjoying some of his delicious Pleasure House oysters and a couple of new ones—new for us at least. He also explained how oysters were, until recently, primarily eaten cooked. It wasn't unitl after the 70's and 80's that a shift in the market came about with more people opting to eat them raw. Cooked is still the preferred serving for the majority but fresh on the half-shell is appreciated more now than ever before.
Erika came around and help set our places and assisted in the direction of the servers. We were seated at her space, so she made sure things moved along smoothly. After everyone was in place, Brian started pouring the first wine.
Our first pairing consisted of a L'Oiseau D'or Muscadet with a Grand Pearl oyster from the Eastern Shore. The Muscadet was a natural pairing with the oyster—light, crisp and a great finish. The bayside oyster marketed with the trademark name Grand Pearl has a salty liquor and a light, thin shell.
The second course paired Domaines Schlumberger Pinot Blanc and a nice James River Oyster. The oyster had a dark flesh. The lower salinity contributes highly to fooling your mouth into thinking you're eating something sweet, but it's the lack of salt letting the oyster come through. It's a very opaque, winter oyster. The fat (glycogen) is high to protect the oyster in the cold water. The Pinot Blanc went well with the James River Oyster, it's high acidity and clean finish showcased the oyster.
Our last pairing had a bonus treat. We were given two oysters: Keeling's Pride and Pleasure House. We've had the Pleasure House Oyster from Chris' farm before—love them. Big, juicy, very satisfying to eat. The Keeling's Pride were new to us, these are an old oyster that grow wild in the Lynnhaven. Somewhat rare but hopefully making a comeback, it was a treat to eat them. Keeling's Pride Oysters are meaty, salty with a sweet connective muscle. The Pleasure House Oyster is huge, sweet and a little sandy. Brian poured a bubbly, something he wouldn't normally do, but the dry Crémant drew out the flavors of the oysters. A little bit about the Cote Mas Crémant De Limoux, though it is French and like a champagne, it is not made in the Champagne region and cannot be designated as “champagne.”
Once again, we had a great time at the Merroir Terroir dinner. Terrapin never disappoints. I do have to give an honorable mention to the Charcuterie plate one of the diners had in lieu of oysters. It looked delicious and something I need to try in the future.
View all the photos from our dinner here.