The Colville family has a summer party every year, and my wife Karen and I have committed to doing it for 10 years. 2018 was our ninth year for “Ponderoysterfest.”
Each year, I try to curate new oysters and wine for the party. My new friend Johnny Flynn is the owner of Colville Bay Oysters in Prince Edward Island, Canada; even though Flynn doesn’t ship to the U.S., we hatched a plan to get 500 of these amazing oysters for the party. My neighbor Larry has a friend, Ken, in Niagara-on-the-Lake who I’d met once before. The plan was for Flynn to ship 500 oysters to Ken, which Larry would pick up and bring to the party. I checked with customs and we had no issue bringing them over the border, although I was still worried (of course) that something would go wrong. But they arrived safely and were the hit of the party. Total oysters served: 1,060. What are we going to do next year for our 10th Ponderoysterfest?
We served several wines at the party, including a case of William-Selyem 2015 Pinot Noir from various vineyards. This wine is pricey if you can find it, although I’ve seen it in several stores in Buffalo over the years. These wines are always outstanding. Another California Pinot we served (and you’ll like) is Calera. Their lowest priced wine is very good, and sometimes you can get a deal between $35 and $40.
A few more of our party selections: Occam’s Razor, a red wine blend from Rasa Vineyards in Washington that sells for around $16; Domaine Lafage Miraflors 2017, a French Rosé that sells for around $17 (everyone loved this wine); and Stonewall 2017 Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand for under $15, which was great for the money and a nice complement to the oysters…although I still like my Pinot Noir best.
Some other wines I recently tasted:
2013 MCK Syrah
Washington, around $40
The first time I ever had Charles Smith Syrah was several years ago at Remington Tavern. I fell in love. This one, MCK (Motor City Kitty), is an amazing wine with wonderful spice and fruit, including raspberries, and a finish that lasts at least 20 seconds. It received a 96-97 rating from Robert Parker, an extremely high rating — especially at that price point. Charles Smith wines are now available locally.
2012 Andrew Will Sorella Champoux Vineyard
Washington State, around $60
This blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Cab Franc is hard to find locally, but if you see it in your travels I highly recommend it. Lots of dark fruit, mouth filling, and dominated by delicious Cabernet. Big ratings on this one, too.
Warren T. Colville is publisher and president of The Buffalo News.