Silky and Juicy
Tuna is prized in some of the world’s best restaurants for having a fatty belly and loins with a silky, smooth texture. It is a fish that does not taste or smell fishy. On top of this, the hue of the loin meat is gorgeous and the basis of some spectacular dishes.
Often, you’ll see tuna loin used for canapés, carpaccio, ceviche, and more. Similarly, tuna belly is the basis of sashimi, with the fish being sold extensively in East and Southeast Asia, like Japan, the Philippines, and Thailand. Furthermore, blue-fin tuna is one of the world’s most expensive fish (and meats). Most people, however, cannot afford such quality. Yet, the standard, delicious tuna steak suffices and is easily available at your local fishmonger.
Should My Tuna Steak Be Raw in the Middle?
The answer is positive. Yes, tuna steak should remain raw in the middle; seared on the outside, and rare inside. The reason for this is that tuna steaks are from the loin of the fish. This part is translucent pink or slightly reddish in color with very little fat. So, if you overcook it, it will become dry and uninspiring.
Choose the Perfect Tuna Steak
Since tuna steak is served rare on the inside, you have to buy fresh tuna. Sure, you do not need the highest possible quality, but your fish must be very fresh. Smell your fish and take notice if it smells like the ocean and not like rotten fish. If it smells fishy, that is not a good sign of freshness. Now, touch the steak and see if it is moist but not slimy.
To cook tuna steak is super easy. The trick is to place your tuna on a very hot skillet, so you can sear the outside while the inside remains raw. The whole process takes about 2 minutes per side. Now that you have cooked your juicy, irresistible tuna steak, it is prime time to find the best wine to match it. Don’t worry though, you don’t have to do anything or go to your local wine store. We, wine pros, have got your back. Read to find the best bottlings for the ideal tuna steak wine pairing.
What Wines Pair Well With Tuna Steak?
Your tuna steak wine match depends on how your tuna is cooked (rare, pan-seared, preserved, or raw, as in sushi). Also, think of the other ingredients that might influence the match, like Miso sauce, citrus glaze, or grilled vegetables. In every case, tuna is a meaty fish and adapts perfectly with both white and red wines. For the most part, you would want to pair your tuna steak with vibrant Chardonnay (preferable from a cold-climate region, like Burgundy), pepper Grüner Veltliner, medium-bodied Pinot Noir, and savory Shiraz.
For example, if you’re going for a raw tuna, like sashimi, or tuna tartare, a chilled bone-dry white, such as a Chablis or Grüner Veltliner, make a fantastic match. In the same manner, with seared tuna, a medium-bodied Pinot Noir works surprisingly well. On top of this, a New World Pinot Noir, particularly from Oregon, is exceptional, too. If you barbecue your tuna, serving with a bold red, such as a Shiraz, is a smart choice. Riesling, oaked Sauvignon Blanc, Verdicchio, or Chianti are other great wine choices for a tuna steak.
Best White Wines With Tuna Steak
Christian Moreau Pere & Fils Chablis
- Winery — Christian Moreau Pere & Fils
- Country/Region — France, Bourgogne, Chablis
- Type — Burgundy Chablis
- Aroma — Apple, Pear, Peach, Pineapple, Apricot, Coconut, Wood
- Grapes — Pinot Gris
- Taste — Grapefruit, Lemon, Guava, Passion Fruit, Vanilla Spice, Hazelnut, Walnut
- Alcohol Content — 12.5%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Tuna Steak, Tilapia, Sea Bass, Perch, Roast Chicken, Veal, Foie Gras, Muenster, Gouda
Coming directly from the village of Chablis, in the heart of the prestigious Chablis region, this wine has attractive weight and a pronounced nose of stone fruits. The palate experiences citrus and subtle tropicals, balanced with great acidity. Yellow-gold in color, this bottling opens with aromas of apple, pear, peach, pineapple, and apricot, alongside notes of coconut and wood. In the mouth, wine enthusiasts experience good weight and flavors of grapefruit, lemon, guava, and passion fruit, as well as tastes of vanilla spice, hazelnuts, and walnuts. Subtle touches of flint, campfire, and wet stones drive into a medium but persistent finish with good acidity.
Christian Moreau is considered one of the finest leading wine producers in Chablis and possibly the best white wine with tuna steak. His family founded a négociant (trading) company – buying and selling grapes from grape growers to winemakers. Christian Moreau sold this company in 2001 when he established Domaine Christian Moreau Pére et Fils. The Domaine produces wines from a number of grand crus (world’s highest-ranked appellation), like Le Clos, Valmur, Blanchot, and Vaudésir, premier cru Vaillon, and typical Chablis AC. Christian Moreau’s winemaking philosophy is to use minimal intervention and biodynamic viticulture practices.
Weingut Stadt Krems Grüner Veltliner
- Winery — Weingut Stadt Krems
- Country/Region — Austria, Weinland, Niederösterreich, Kremstal
- Type — Austrian Grüner Veltliner
- Aroma — Apple, Pear, Grapefruit, Meyer Lemon, Lime Peel, Flint, Wet Grass, Celery
- Grapes — Grüner Veltliner
- Taste — Pineapple, Peach, Nectarine, Straw, Honey, Pepper, Saline, Brioche Bread
- Alcohol Content — 13.5%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Tuna Steak, Smoked Trout, Sushi, Sashimi, Fried Chicken, Artichokes, Vietnamese, Pecorino
Vivid green fruit and citrus notes define the nose, leading into a yeasty palate packed with cream, butter, and salty, pepper-influenced flavors. The finish is mineral-driven with a refreshing acidity that offsets the pronounced creaminess. Apple, pear, grapefruit, Meyer lemon, and lime peel are the primary components of this Grüner Veltliner’s bouquet. Close-by wine fans can also detect flint, wet grass, and celery. The palate is creamy and buttery, very smooth, with a rounded texture. Flavors abound of pineapple, peach, and nectarine, mingled with straw, honey, and pepper. Great, brisk acidity and saline-influenced finish complete the tasting profile.
Weingut Stadt Krems is one of the oldest wineries in Austria. It was founded in 1452 as an income source for the Krems hospital. Since then, the municipality of Krems has owned the 560-year-old wine estate. Today, Weingut Stadt Krems is among the best wineries in the region, especially after the arrival of Fritz Miesbauer in 2003. Miesbauer brought a change to the entire operation, replanting vineyards and modernizing the estate’s cellar. Fritz Miesbauer, and subsequently Weingut Stadt Krems, produce expressive Grüner Veltliner and Riesling by adhering to sustainable practices.
Best Red Wines With Tuna Steak
Alchemist Pinot Noir
- Winery — Union Wine Company
- Country/Region — United States, Oregon, Willamette Valley
- Type — Oregon State Pinot Noir
- Aroma — Raspberry, Mulberry, Thyme, Wet Soil, Underbrush, Forest Floor
- Grapes — Pinot Noir
- Taste — Cherry, Raspberry, Blackberry, Plum, Bramble, Mushroom, Cinnamon Spice, Grapefruit, Orange, Asparagus
- Alcohol Content — 14.4%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Tuna Steak, Venison, Pheasant, Casseroles, Salmon, Trout, Napolitana, Manchego, Romano
This Pinot Noir is bold, dynamic, and uncompromising, crafted to uplift your wine pairing. Loaded with red berries and cherry flavors, Alchemist Pinot Noir shows a fine balance between freshness and baking spices. A superb Willamette Pinot Noir that opens with earthy fragrances of wet soil, underbrush, and forest floor, accompanied by nuances of raspberry, mulberry, and dried herbs. On the palate, the wine shows flavors of cherry, raspberry, and blackberry. At the same time, wine fans can also relish the tastes of plum, brambles, mushrooms, and cinnamon spice. The tannins are fine-grained and contribute depth, while the moderate acidity refreshes. The finish is lengthy, displaying lingering notes of grapefruit, orange, and asparagus.
Alchemist Pinot Noir is a by-product of Union Wine Company, located in Oregon. Founded in 2005 by Ryan Harms, Union Wine Company has created accessible wines which are great to share with friends and family. On top of this, Ryan Harms has worked as a winemaker for many Oregon wineries throughout his career. Through his wines, he tries to marry high-end winemaking with small-scale manufacturing. The result? Approachable bottlings that bring people together, over a meal, to celebrate life. Union Wine Company belongs to Constellation Brands, one of the largest wine wholesalers in the United States.
Langmeil Valley Floor Shiraz
- Winery — Langmeil
- Country/Region — Australia, South Australia, Barossa
- Type — Australian Shiraz
- Aroma — Raspberry, Strawberry, Cinnamon Spice, Chocolate, Pepper, Leather
- Grapes — Shiraz
- Taste — Bramble, Fig, Prune, Mint, Vanilla Spice, Coffee, Lavender, Mint
- Alcohol Content — 14.9%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Tuna Steak, Roast Goat, Lamb Rack, Honey-glazed Pork Steak, Roquefort, Gorgonzola
Uplifting aromas of black and red berries join sweet spices, cocoa, and savory sensations. Rich and plush in the mouth, quite complex, and with soft tannins, Langmeil Valley Floor Shiraz is the best red wine with tuna steak. Satsuma plums combine with raspberries, strawberries, and cinnamon spice to form the bouquet, alongside hints of chocolate, pepper, and leather. The mid-palate is flavorsome and sweet, in harmony with velvety, smooth tannins.
The medium-body displays flavors of brambles, figs, and prunes. Also, touches of mint, vanilla spice, and coffee are present in the mouth too. The spicy finish is long and very pleasant. Owned by the Lindern family, seasoned Barossa viticulturists, Langmeil is known for its old vines and the production of high-quality wines from cherished Barossa sites. Langmeil used to be a trading village back in 1842. However, since then, it has become a region synonymous with Australia’s wine history.
Lupé-Cholet Comte de Lupé Bourgogne Pinot Noir
- Winery — Lupé-Cholet
- Country/Region — France, Bourgogne
- Type — French Pinot Noir
- Aroma — Strawberry, Cherry, Blackcurrant, Cinnamon, Vanilla, Clove
- Grapes — Pinot Noir
- Taste — Plum, Blackberry, Lavender, Flint, Campfire, Wet Stones, Mushroom, Dried Soil, Barnyard
- Alcohol Content — 12.5%
- Sugar — Dry
- Pairing — Tuna Steak, Leg Of Lamb, Beef Burger, Grilled Salmon, Roast Pork Loin, Cheddar, Swiss
Garnet-red with burgundy hues. On the bouquet, aromas of red berries and blackcurrants interlace with sweet, baking spices. Balanced and mineral-influenced in the mouth, this Pinot Noir has soft tannins and a lively, almost invigorating acidity. Bright nuances of strawberry, cherry, and blackcurrant commence a fruity dance on the nose, joined by aromas of cinnamon, vanilla, and cloves. The mouth is balanced, showcasing flavors of flint, campfire, and wet stones. Additionally, tastes of plum, blackberry, and lavender are discernible and combine with mushrooms, dried soil, and barnyard notes. Fine tannins and vibrant acidity lead into a medium, savory finish.
An old French winery, Lupé-Cholet was founded in 1903 in Nuits-Saint-Georges, when Alexandre de Mayol de Lupé and Félix de Cholet decided to create this wine house. Their motive was to combine the best soil, vines, and human skill to produce expressive wines of unique personalities. Their prime vineyards are in Chablis and Côte d’Or. At the same time, Lupé-Cholet sources fruit from prestigious Burgundian winegrowers. As expected, Lupé-Cholet has one of the most extensive and high-quality wine portfolios in France. The grapes are hand-picked, gently pressed, and partially de-stemmed before fermentation. Somehow they impart a feminine style on their wines, which also turn out silky, complex, and seductive, with plenty of room for aging.
As we reach the
Whichever of the above wines you end up choosing, you are guaranteed a perfect tuna steak pairing. You do not have to overthink it. Just pick the wine that you feel will satisfy your taste buds and seems like a sensible choice with the way you plan to cook your fish. Uncork, and enjoy!