Top pairings | What's the best wine match for tuna?

Top pairings

What's the best wine match for tuna?

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 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.

Seared tuna
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.

Seared tuna with sesame and Elephant Hill Syrah

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, Muscadet-sur-lie or Grüner Veltliner also works well as does, more surprisingly, a lush white grenache

Tuna tataki and grenache blanc

Tuna tartare with wasabi aioli and grüner veltliner

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

Salade niçoise and 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.

Got other ideas? Do email your favourite pairings to us at greatmatches@matchingfoodandwine.com. To subscribe to our free monthly newsletter and be eligible to enter our fabulous prize draws click here or to get notice of posts as soon as they're published click here.

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Comments: 1 (Add)

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Germain Lehodey on May 8 2013 at 12:58

i like your pairing approach.
great Germain

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