Tuna’s a versatile summer ingredient that you can use in salads or on the barbecue. Quick and easy to cook, like salmon a conductor of many different flavours. It’s also a meaty fish which adapts just as well to a red and a rosé as to a white.
If you want a simple guideline as to which wine to choose think first about the way that it’s cooked - is it rare, seared or preserved (canned or bottled)? (The colder, the less cooked the fish, the lighter the wine). Then think of the style of the dish. Does it incorporate Japanese flavours? Are there other ingredients on the plate that might influence the match such as a citrussy glaze or salsa.
Here are some pairings you might like to try.
A light red or strong dry southern French or Spanish rosé is perfect with seared tuna - a Loire red such as a Chinon or Bourgueil or a light red burgundy if it’s simply seasoned, a fruitier New World Pinot Noir if you’re giving it a spicier treatment. If it's chargrilled on the barbecue and served rare like a steak you can bring on a beefier red such as a Syrah or Barbera.
Raw or near-raw tuna e.g. sashimi. tuna tartare
Popular in Japanese-style dishes so may well include Japanese ingredients with a touch of sweetness such as mirin or Japanese rice vinegar. I personally enjoy chilled sake with this style of presentation but a very dry white such as a Chablis or Muscadet-sur-lie also works well. Or a fine minerally Sauvignon Blanc such as Pouilly Fumé.
Glazed tuna with citrus e.g. with yuzu or lime and coriander
Still possible to serve a light red (citrus will accentuate its fruitiness) but you might also want to consider a fruity white such as a Semillon-Sauvignon blend, an oaked Sauvignon Blanc, a Verdelho or a dry Riesling.
Salads with tinned or bottled tuna e.g. salade Niçoise, tonno e fagioli
Something quite light and quaffable. A inexpensive dry Italian white such as a Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi or a dry Provençal rosé such as a Bandol rosé
Tuna pasta bake
Not my favourite way of eating tuna, if truth be told, but as it’s creamy and slightly cheesy an unoaked or lightly oaked Chardonnay should hit the spot.
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