Does red wine and fish make the perfect pairing? - Pinot Noir Day

pinot noir, recipe, seafood, tuna -

Does red wine and fish make the perfect pairing? - Pinot Noir Day

When it comes to pairing your fish with a glass of something special, white wine is often the go-to choice. However, the myth that red wine only works alongside red meat is a myth that needs debunking, as it can actually go very nicely with fish.  

A high level of tannins often found in full-bodied red wines don’t usually work with the delicate flavours of fish, which would explain why the general consensus is to never pair any fish with a glass of red. However, there is good news for the red wine lovers out there, fish and red wine can be a match made in heaven when key factors are considered.

  1. Steer clear of those more tannic red wines and opt for a wine that is described as softer.
  2. Cooking methods should also influence wine choice, pair red wines with heartier grilled or fried fish dishes.
  3. Soft tannic red wines will often have fruity aromas - avoid matching these with recipes which are overly citrusy, as they can overwhelm the fruity notes found in the red wine and make for a poor pairing.

Enter one of the nation’s favourites – the Pinot Noir; the perfect wine to supplement a fish dish. A lighter bodied red wine with a lower level of tannins makes it a popular match for richer dishes and meaty fish such as tuna, swordfish, and salmon.

What better way to celebrate this sensational pairing than Pinot Noir Day itself! Sit back, pour yourself a glass of red and allow the delicate flavour of tuna to emphasise Pinot Noir’s fruity aromas of cherry and raspberry, with subtle hints of vanilla. Don’t believe us? Try it for yourself!

Seared tuna steak laying on a wooden chopping board


Soy Marinated Tuna Steaks (Serves 2)


  • 2 sashimi-grade tuna steaks
  • 4 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 4 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 2 minced garlic clove
  • Handful of freshly chopped coriander to garnish
  • 2tbsp of sesame seeds to garnish
  • Black pepper to season


  • Begin by mixing the soy sauce, sesame oil and three tablespoons of fish sauce in a bowl. Coat the tuna in the mixture and set in the fridge for 20 minutes, allowing the steaks to soak in all the flavour from the soy marinade.
  • While marinating, heat a pan and once hot, add in the garlic and fry until it becomes fragrant - roughly 30 seconds. Add in the sliced spring onions and chilli, continuing to stir fry. Pour in the last tablespoon of fish sauce and fry for a further three minutes.
  • Removed the cooked chilli and spring onions from the pan and pop in your tuna steak.
  • The method for cooking tuna steaks is not dissimilar to that of cooking beef steak. Sear your tuna steak on one side for around two minutes before turning and doing the same on the other side for a further two minutes. The steak is cooked when the surface is coloured, but the steak remains pink in the middle.
  • Once cooked, add the chilli, garlic, and spring onions back to the pan for a few seconds to warm.
  • Finish by serving your tuna and vegetables on a bed of rice or noodles, along with your perfectly paired glass of Pinot Noir.