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DEFCON: jive

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  1. With a new fish market in town, I've bought oysters a few times lately. Being poor, I can't always afford a 1996 Premier Cru Chablis to drink with them, and I like beer pretty well anyway. Now, I know all about Guinness and oysters, but I'm eating them at home, Guinness is strictly an on-tap beer for me, and I don't really care too much about Guinness anyhow. Here's what I've tried instead: A bottle of Alaskan Smoked Porter that I found in the basement. I try to buy a case of this stuff when I remember, and this was the last of the 2001 vintage. It went pretty well. Same dark-beer appeal as the classic oysters/stout, a little cleaner on the palate, and not so smoky as to get in the way of the brine. Like oysters on the barbeque, without the trouble. A couple bottles of Deschutes Jubelale. Not quite as good a match, but still fine. Here's what I'm thinking for the future: Gueuze. Lindemans Cuvee Rene is available around here, and has some of the characteristics of other things that go well with oysters--bone dry, tart, palate-cleansing. Plus, it's one of my favorites. Drawback: kind of expensive for a beer. Also: Belgians in general. Drank a bottle of this Reinaert Flemish wild ale tonight, and thought it might go. So, my questions to you eGulletonians: What beers do you drink with oysters? What pairings have you had in restaurants that have been successful? What hasn't worked? Lots of hops, or lots of malt? More generally: what characteristics do the beverages have in common--what makes a good match? With wines, it's generally a very dry, sometimes briny white wine, minimal oak--Chablis, Champagne, muscadet etc. Guinness is the opposite--sweetish, rich body. What makes them both work?
  2. One more tip--if you plan on tasting/buying wine, be sure to grab one of the valley wine maps put out by, I think, the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance. It's really comprehensive, nice to have all the phone numbers and addresses in one place, and it can help plan your visits so you're not going back and forth across the valley. You should be able to pick it up at most tasting rooms, or at the Chamber of Commerce.
  3. If I'm not mistaken, the little bakery is the Colville Street Patisserie, on the corner of Colville and Alder streets. I can recommend it wholeheartedly. I am also employed there, so take that as you will. Handmade croissants, danish, kouign aman, cannele, and other tasty things, as well as tarts and french-style cakes--that's what we do. I also love the Weinhard Cafe, on Main Street in Dayton (the same town as Patit Creek Restaurant). Creative food, well-executed, great eclectic space. I am married to the chef/owner (Dunno what the disclosure policy is here--hopefully this is ok). One last recommendation--no affiliation with this one. My favorite cheap eats are the beef cheek tacos at Tino's, a truck parked off 9th street near Super 1 grocery store and the liquor store.
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