Grilled Tuna with Peach Salsa … and a Yarra Valley Pinot Noir

Pairing:  Grilled Fresh Tuna with Peach Salsa Paired with 2012 Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir

Food:  Simple, simple, simple … fire up the grill or grill pan, marinate the tuna steaks in a little olive oil, salt and pepper, unscrew a jar of your favorite salsa (we like Newman’s Own), add a few slices of peaches to the salsa, grill the tuna, spoon on the salsa … done! Life is so nice when meals this delicious can be made so easily.

Grilled Tuna and Peach Salsa

Wine:  The Yarra Valley wine region is located east of the city of Melbourne in the southeastern corner of Australia in the state of Victoria. Pinot Noir grapes thrive in this cooler climate region of “Down Under”, and the region produces fine examples of New World (more fruit, less restrained) Pinot Noir. And, what an interesting name for a winery … Innocent Bystander. One can only speculate the reasoning behind the name.

A Note about pairing red wine with seafood:  With few exceptions, the lighter, more delicate nature of fish and shellfish is best paired with a white wine. The tannins in red wine will usually overwhelm seafood. However, there are fish that have a more assertive, richer flavor (e.g., tuna, salmon, swordfish, bluefish) that actually go very well with red wines, at least those with little or lighter tannins. Pinot Noir is among the best pairing for such seafood, but there are other possibilities (see below).

Innocent Bystander

Tasting Notes:  A pale red color with some blue tints (very pretty). Bright cherry fruit is the focal point of the nose. Cherry with a little earth and leather are the classic Pinot Noir flavors here. The depth of flavor of the grilled tuna and the spiciness of the salsa play off nicely against the fruit and leather tastes of the wine. And the clean sweetness of the peaches adds a brilliant complementary note. The finish is endless and very pleasant.

Other Red Wines That Pair Well with Grilled Tuna:  Grenache (Spain), GSM (Australia), Côtes du Rhône (France), Merlot (Italy), Cannonau (Sardinia)

Other Seafood That Pairs Well with Pinot Noir:  Salmon, Bluefish or Swordfish (Grilled or Broiled), Halibut with a Rich Mushroom Sauce, Salmon Pâté served with Assorted Soft Cheeses (e.g., Brie, Camembert) and a Baguette

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