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Apr 30, 2019
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WINE WITH…Tuna Confit (Oil-Poached Fresh Tuna)

The deliciously decadent tuna is rich and velvety after its bath in hot oil, while the accompanying fresh and colorful salad provides a wonderful textural contrast.

Tuna Confit

Serves 2-4

One one-pound tuna steak
Salt and pepper
2-3 cups olive oil, more if needed
4 or 5 strips of fresh orange peel
2 star anise pods
4-6 radishes, thinly sliced
2 blood oranges, peeled and cut in 1-inch pieces
5-6 kumquats, sliced
About 2 cups arugula or frisée, torn in pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine or sherry vinegar
Lemon sections for garnish

Generously season the tuna with salt and pepper and cut it in half.

Place the fish halves in a large, sturdy saucepan, then pour in enough olive oil to just cover them.  Add the strips of orange peel and star anise pods.  Over medium heat, bring the oil to a full boil.  Turn off the heat and let the tuna sit in the hot oil for 15 minutes if you like it slightly pink, or 20 minutes if you prefer it cooked completely through.  Carefully remove the pieces of tuna.  When they are cool enough to handle, cut them into thick slices.

Toss together the radishes, the pieces of blood orange, the sliced kumquats and the arugula.  When you are ready to serve the dish, arrange the tuna slices over the salad.  Whisk the olive oil and vinegar together, season with salt and pepper, and drizzle it over everything.

*         *         *

Tuna tastes rich and meaty, consequently calling for a substantial wine, while the fruity salad in this dish is light and lively, so better with a bright, refreshing one.  What to do?  Our tastings suggest that you try to thread the needle, with light-bodied reds and heartier whites.  Fresh rosés will also be a good choice, especially this time of year.

Connect  on Twitter:   @M_L_Thomas  and  @Wine_With_
More recipes and wine pairings:    Wine With...  


Cambria, Santa Maria Valley


“Julia’s Vineyard”

Rosé of Pinot Noir





Dry rather than sweet, this wine’s fresh fruit flavors echoed the kumquat and blood orange’s own juicy fruitiness.





Steele Wines,

Santa Barbara County


“Goodchild Vineyard”

Pinot Noir







Soft and juicy, with a strong core of fruit and good acidity, this red wine was a terrific match with the dish.











Villa Antinori,



IGT Toscana


(Imported by Ste Michelle Wine Estates)












This white blend is dominated by Trebbiano Toscano plus smaller amounts of Malvasia Toscana, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Rhine Riesling   It tastes crisp and taut.







Livermore Valley



“Estate Grown”








Fruit forward and richly endowed with oak spice this wine teeters on the edge of being too big for the dish, but fans of rich California Chardonnay will find it a fine partner for the richness of the tuna.








Pinot Blanc



(Imported by Monsieur Touton)



With floral notes as well as hints of pear and apple, the sweet fruitiness of the wine connects nicely with the fresh citrus notes in the dish.