A: Grilled Ahi tuna is definitely a “red meat” (just look at it! ) and by grilling it you give it the Maillard reaction (carmelization) and smokiness. But it is not as heavy or fatty as a ribeye steak. So the perfect pairing may be a medium-bodied red wine, Grenache, Mourvedre, Malbec or Barbera. If you have to stay with white wines think of fuller-bodied white wines–a fruity, buttery, chardonnay or one of the pinot grigios with a darker coloration (more skin contact and riper when picked, so more sugars and tannins). But if you really want to get creative try a Nigori-Zake. Nigori-Zaki is an unfiltered sake and will look cloudy, not clear. It may even have some of the koji rice in the bottle. Being unfiltered it is sweeter and fuller-bodied which should go well with the caramelization and smokiness from the grilling. Serve Nigori-Zaki ice cold.
By Ronald L. Fenolio
CEO/Proprietor – Veedercrest Estates LLC
Chair – Family Winemakers of California
© 2021 Ronald L. Fenolio
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