Red, White or Rose?
By Gary Hayes
Published: 02/18/2009  Updated: 06/20/2019
Volcano Spiced Ahi Tuna from Yummy wine bar & bistro in Seaside.
Volcano Spiced Ahi Tuna from Yummy wine bar & bistro in Seaside.  Photo by Gary Hayes

What wine to pair with your tuna? The answer may surprise you.

The old rules just don't apply according to Corey Albert of Yummy Wine Bar & Bistro in Seaside. When it comes to pairing a wine with food today, it's more about your personal preference and choosing a wine that works with the complex flavor profiles of contemporary recipes. I sat down with Albert recently to sample Yummy's Volcano Spiced Ahi Tuna and sample wine pairings. The dish presents several contrasting flavors. The ahi is lightly crusted with spices and quickly seared. It rests on a rice and seaweed salad sitting in a lively emulsion of soy, wasabi and cilantro. It's topped with a cucumber salad dressed lightly with vinegar. So what wine do you choose to go with these complex flavors? Albert recommended a Montepulciano d'Abruzzo dry rose from Italy. Without the food, the wine showed clean pear and apple on the nose, with flavors of tart green apple and red berries. Following the food with the slightly spicy emulsion, the wine offered clean crisp apple flavors, cleansing the palate without showing the tartness. Next, a dry Riesling tasted sweet following the lightly spiced ahi, but was clean and balanced following bites of the rice and cucumber salad. The biggest surprise was how the food elevated the flavor and finish of an Oregon Pinot Noir from Jovino. Following a taste of the food, the Pinot showed complex rounded fruit with warm clove and baking spice flavors, extending the finish for 30 seconds. Depending on your preference, any of these choices work with this dish. "The idea is to find a wine that marries well with food," says Albert. "Food can make the wine better and wine can make the food better and it can be a different experience with each bite as you sample the different flavors on the plate or combine them," he adds. If you want to try your own pairing experiment, Yummy always offers two ounce tasting pours.
Red, White or Rose?