Tuna and Merlot? Yes! #MerlotMe
#MerlotMe and #WinePW Collaboration Continues
Thanks to the generosity of the #MerlotMe participating wineries, each of the bloggers in our Wine Pairing Weekend group received several bottles of wine. My first pairing was Pork with Duckhorn Merlot from Napa Valley, a good choice although a pretty safe one.
Yes, Virginia, Red Wine with Fish
In my travels through Italian wines this year, I’ve found that Italians don’t shy away from pairing red wine with seafood. A couple of things help:
- Pick a red with medium body & good acidity
- Big seagoing fish are easiest to match
- Tomatoes in the preparation provide a great bridge.
For pairing #2, I chose seared tuna to test out with one of my Merlot’s. Along with the grilled fish, I made a sauce with plenty of deep rich flavors including tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and olives. I had not had heard of Tinhorn Creek, and was only vaguely familiar with Okanagan Valley, so this one was a bit of a shot in the dark. Lucky me, the wine was a great choice!
Tinhorn Creek Oldfield Series Merlot 2012 ($26.50 retail, sample provided by winery)
Eye: Clear, deep but still transparent red. Edge tends toward cool, but not purple.
Nose: Ripe dark cherries, olives, fresh impression.
Mouth: Bright red fruit, med + tannins. Nice structure on this wine! Medium body with nice fruit, not overly ripe and not overly dark. Surprising, given it is listed at 14.9% alc. This wine is a good example of why you can’t always guess a wine’s body by the alcohol percentage on the label.
Day 1, I thought the wine was on the ripe side and the oak was a bit obvious, however, it just needed to sit for a day. Day 2, the oak had receded to the background and the lean side of the wine shone. Our dinner was on day 2, so we enjoyed the wine at its peak.
Tuna and Merlot – Yes or No?
Tuna is plenty big and meaty enough to pair with red wine. Not every red wine, but Merlot can do the trick. Find a Merlot like this Tinhorn Creek and you’re all set. Cooler climate (for Merlot), bright red fruit and good acidity are key.
Thanks to the #MerlotMe wineries and especially Tinhorn Creek for providing winery samples. All opinions are my own.
Sauce adapted from a recipe in Sunset Magazine A lighter, cool-climate Merlot is best with this dish. You want the brighter flavors and higher acidity. The tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and black olives give plenty of deep, rich flavor to bridge to the red wine. Ingredients Instructions
Seared Tuna with a Savory Tomato Onion Sauce
Sauce adapted from a recipe in Sunset Magazine
A lighter, cool-climate Merlot is best with this dish. You want the brighter flavors and higher acidity. The tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and black olives give plenty of deep, rich flavor to bridge to the red wine.