Oysters and champagne are considered a perfect match and finally science has an explanation why, with new research from the University of Copenhagen finding that the two foods contain complementary sets of umami flavors that act “synergistically” to enhance taste, working together harmoniously.
Researchers in Denmark have an explanation for why oysters and champagne pair so well.
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The research, published Wednesday in Nature Scientific Reports, claims to offer the first scientific explanation as to why oysters and champagne work so well together.
Professor Ole Mouritsen, one of the study’s authors, says the answer lies in the umami taste in oysters and champagne, a somewhat surprising discovery given that umami is most associated with meat.
Umami, also referred to as savoriness, is one of the five basic flavors the human tongue can detect, alongside sweet, salty, bitter and sour.
Certain chemicals in champagne and oysters pair well to “spark an umami synergy… that greatly enhances the taste of the champagne,” explains the study’s lead author Charlotte Vinther Schmidt, with the champagne’s acidity and bubbles also contributing to the overall impression.
Mouritsen says older vintage champagne pairs best as they have more dead yeast cells that provide an umami flavor, while oysters’ umami flavor comes from its muscles.