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Best wine with ahi tuna

From fish and chips, to grilled sardines, classic single meunière, ceviche and sushi, find the appropriate wines to pair through any kind of fish dish
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Credit: Stella de Smit on Unsplash

Whether eating out or food preparation at house, pescatarians are on a regular basis spoiled for option. Not only is there a large diversity of species, yet fish is a versatile ingredient that can be cooked in different methods – and even delighted in raw. 

This indicates that you’ll discover an array of grapes and also wine formats that will pair with fish. Tradition dictates that you should always complement white wine with fish, but in some situations red wine can make an ideal pairing – as have the right to rosé. It all counts on the type of fish you’re eating and also just how it’s all set. 


Both texture and also flavour are vital here. Fish can generally be separated into four groups: 

Lean and also flaky mild fish – plaice, sole, perchMedium-textured fish – trout, seabass, haddock, cod Meaty fish – salmon, tuna, monkfish, swordfishStrong-flavoured fish – herring, mackerel, sardines, anchovies 

Within these teams tbelow are some basic guidelines. Delicate white fish filallows require a lighter white wine; think Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris, Albariño or Grüner Veltiner. Meanwhile meatier fish prefer tuna can stand also as much as even more robust flavours such as oaked Chardonnay, Viognier or rosé


But just how a fish is cooked – grilling, baking, frying or on the barbecue – will certainly aid to narrow down your wine option. So too will the other ingredients in the dish. For example, fish offered through a creamy sauce will require a wine with high acidity to cleanse the palate in between bites. Spicy fish dishes speak to for a wine through some sweetness to balance the warm of the seasonings. 

White, flaky fish fillets

Delicate and mild-flavoured fishes, such as plaice, single and tilapia deserve to be all set conveniently and also quickly by grilling or baking, and also sindicate offered via lemon and herbs. Italian whites are a natural match. As well as the ever-renowned Pinot Grigio, look for grapes such as Vermentino, Fiano and also Grillo, which makes fresh, lemony wines. Island also whites from Sicily and Sardinia periodically have actually a fresh salty tang that works well with simply grilled fish as well. 

Broadly speaking, whites from seaside wine regions are a safe bet via fish. Think Portuguese Vinho Verde, featuring the Alvarinho grape, or its Spanish cousin Albariño from Rías Baixas. Greek Assyrtiko, particularly from the island also of Santorini is another excellent choice. 


Wines prefer Assyrtiko, with high organic acidity, work well via vulnerable white fish in creamy sauces or cooked in butter. An unoaked Chardonnay, such as Chablis is a trustworthy option, so as well bone-dry Muscadet from the Loire Valley – which is likewise among the timeless matches for oysters and also various other seafood. 

Speaking of classic matches, an excellent, subtly oaked white Burgundy makes a perfect partner with grilled lemon sole or Dover sole meunière (fried in butter with a dusting of flour).

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Textured white fish

Ocean dwellers such as cod, halibut, haddock and also sea bass have the right to likewise be categorised as flaky white fish, yet through bigger flakes and also a more durable texture, they tend to be offered in dishes via richer sauces, flavors and also strong-flavoured herbs.

This indicates you have the right to opt for an extra durable white wine, perhaps with some oak or bottle age. Try formats such as aged White Rioja or Loire Valley Chenin Blanc


Exotic, spicy Alsace whites made from Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Gris, probably with a touch of residual sugar, will certainly pair well with Asian-spiced textured white fish dishes. Similarly for spicy fish tacos choose an aromatic Austrian Grüner Veltliner or Germale Riesling – aacquire via a touch of sweetness to temper the spice. While ceviche, the colorful South Amerihave the right to dish of raw fish marinated in citrus juices, will certainly pair well through Argentinian Torrontés or Chilean Sauvignon Blanc. 

Herbs such as dill, tarragon, parsley, chives, marjoram and lemongrass all work-related specifically well with fish. Herby fish dishes call for wines that match those flavours with their very own vibrant herbal notes. Sauvignon Blanc – either fresh, zesty versions from New Zealand or even more restrained herbaceous formats from the Loire Valley – renders a reliable alternative. 

If your cod or haddock is fried in batter – either a light Japanese tempura or the timeless fish and also chips – look for a fresh, dry white with high acidity to respond to the fattiness. Aacquire Alvarinho/Albariño or a crisp Sauvignon Blanc from Chile or New Zealand also will work-related well. But the truly winning combicountry via fried fish is a dry fizz, as the combicountry of bubbles and high acidity effortlessly reduced with the batter. A blanc de blancs Champagne ticks package nicely for a decadent alternative, however you’ll discover blanc de blanc sparklers from all around the world at a selection of price points.

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Meaty and also pink fish

When you’re pairing wines through fish that has actually an extra meaty texture – such as swordfish or monkfish – and also pink-fleburned fishes like tuna and salmon, the array of styles to select from boosts, as rosés and lighter reds will certainly frequently work-related better than whites. 

For example a chilled New World Pinot Noir would certainly complement equally well through seared tuna or seared salmon. Dry rosés pair especially well with all kinds of salmon dishes – and you needn’t stick to still wines. Try sparkling rosé with smoked salmon; the texture of the bubbles provides a brilliant comparison via the soft fattiness of the fish. A fruity rosé Champagne can also stand up to the chargrilled flavours of barbecued salmon

As constantly, the golden ascendancy is to think not just about the fish itself, but just how it is cooked and also what ingredients it’s offered with. Grapes and styles including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Pinot Gris, manzanilla Sherry, Pinot Noir and also English sparkling are among the many type of options for pairing with salmon relying on the dish. 

Pairings with tuna dishes are similarly functional. Juicy reds such as Beaujolais or Chinon, Austrian Zweigelt, Italy’s underrated Cerasuolo di Vittoria, Dolcetto or Valpolicella, will complement grilled, seared and barbecued tuna. But tuna ceviche or carpaccio speak to for crisp citrus whites such as Picpoul de Pinet or cool-climate Chardonnay. 

Raw tuna and salmon are of course, also well-known ingredients in sushi, via matches including dry mineral whites, Koshu, Pinot Noir, Brunello and Burgundy, depending upon the style.

Meaty fishes regularly feature in more robustly spiced Indian cuisine – with dishes such as tandoor-grilled monkfish – and Caribbean and also Thai curries. Here the combination of spices and warm of the dish are as essential as the texture and also flavour of the fish, so focus on wine formats that job-related via spicy food.

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Fish through strong flavours

Oily fish such as mackerel, herrings and sardines carry intense flavours of the sea and also require a crisp, bracing wine to enhance. Tright here are plenty of white (Portugal’s Vinho Verde), rosé (Provence) and red (Gamay-based wines that deserve to be offered chilled for additional bite) alternatives. 

Strongly flavoured fish is frequently sindicate cooked – after all, it doesn’t require much aid to enhance its taste – on the grill or barbecue and also offered simply through a squeeze of lemon or herbs. Try barbecue sardines via minerally Albariño, citrus Picpoul de Pinet or Sauvignon Blanc.


Fresh tapas-style Mediterranean anchovies are a delight with Iberian whites: Alvarinho, Albariño, Verdejo, Txakoli and also salty fino or manzanilla Sherry. Cured anchovies, often provided as a pizza topping or via tomato-based pasta sauces like punchy puttanesca, contact for a light, juicy red. Italy’s Bardolino and Valpolicella are a good speak to, as are Spanish reds made from the Mencía grape.

See also:

Which wines go well through lobster? 

How to pair wine with sushi


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