Cheers To You

An exploration of all things wine with local wine expert Mary Earl.
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Ahi tuna, shiitake mushrooms and wine

May 13th, 2011 by brynn grimley

White wine goes with fish, right? Well maybe.

With Carter’s recipe — thanks Carter! — for ahi tuna with ginger-shiitake cream sauce, the ginger immediately makes us think Chardonnay. It’s probably clear by now that we love Chardonnay, but that’s because it’s a great white wine that pairs well with dishes of varying styles.

Ginger makes us think of Chardonnay because the two have an affinity for each other – possibly because of the dryness of the Chardonnay and the piquant characteristic of the root.

Beyond this affinity, Chardonnay has the body to match the meatiness of the ahi.

But since we recommended a Chardonnay with Ann Vogel’s recent Iowa Stuffed Chop recipe, we’re going to stay away from Chardonnay this time and instead recommend red wine to pair with the tuna.

Because of the density of the fish, we recommend a Pinot Noir or a Pinotage.

Pinotage is a South African red grape that is the result of a cross between the Pinot Noir and Cinsault grapes.

Both wine varietals have weight and flavor that would pair well with Carter’s dish — which is made even richer by the shiitake mushroom sauce.

If you’ve never tried a Pinotage, we recommend branching out for this meal. Look to the Goats du Roam winery for its interesting blend of Pinotage — 33 percent Pinotage, 22 percent Shiraz and 13 percent Grenache. There are four other grapes with lesser percentages also blended in this wine, which results in a medium-style red that would match the recipe’s ginger and soy nicely.

If you’d rather stay with Pinot Noir, our favorite go-to Pinot is from Castle Rock.

Castle Rock Winery is located in California and sources its grapes up and down the coast from California to Washington. Their wines are always affordable and dependably good.

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One Response to “Ahi tuna, shiitake mushrooms and wine”

  1. cjcampbell Says:

    I do not understand the current fashion with shiitake mushrooms. They are quite possibly the worst tasting mushrooms on the market.

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