Tuna Casserole is a tricky dish to pair with, as canned Tuna tends to taste metallic when paired with tannic red wines. The creaminess of the casserole also demands an acidic wine to cut through the rich flavours. Thus, we’d suggest light and fruity reds like a Beaujolais, Côtes du Rhône, or Pinot Noir. If red is not your style, a Rosé, or crisp and acidic whites like Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, or Unoaked Chardonnay are seductive choices.
Beaujolais and Tuna Casserole Pairing
A light and fun Beaujolais offers a nice contrast when pitted against the heavy and filling depth of Tuna Casserole. Overall, Beaujolais is low in tannin and alcohol, with fresh red fruit flavours that keep things interesting in your mouth when combined with food. Tuna Casserole, however, with its addition of noodles, cream, cheese, and chunks of Tuna are full of fat, protein and carbs. Should you pair it with a heavier wine, you might need an extra hour or two of recovery time passed out on the couch from the one-two punch of too much food and wine. With a light Beaujolais, you’ll eat a little less, and you’ll be able to enjoy a nice evening in.
Unfortunately, with this pairing, the Beaujolais won’t be enhanced by the food, and the fresh fruit flavours of Beaujolais will be crushed by the heaviness of this dish. That’s why we give it a 3.5 out of 5. With Tuna Casserole, you’ll be hard pressed to find an amazing pairing where both the food and wine are enhanced. Yet this is still a great pairing as Beaujolais does a beautiful job of keeping you refreshed as you indulge in this popular comfort food. Furthermore, with red wine, you essentially need tannin to hold up to heavy dishes, but the nature of Tuna would make those wines taste like tin, which is not appealing at all. Given the price of Beaujolais, combined with its fun properties, we feel as if this is the best pairing you can choose with Tuna Casserole.
Tuna Casserole & Rosé
Is there anything Rosé doesn’t go with? I hesitated to include it as I write about Rosé in almost all of my pairings. But I’d be paying you a disservice should I not mention it. I also like to give the warning that many men feel uncomfortable sipping on a pink drink, and might turn their nose up at Rosé. And hey, as a Clint Eastwood and Football loving guy, I get that. It took me awhile to appreciate Rosé’s seductive powers myself.
But Rosé is underappreciated, probably due to its looks. On looks alone, pink beverages often seem sweet, yet Rosé tends to be bracingly dry, with subtle fruit flavours of strawberry, raspberry, cranberry and lime. It’s this crispness that lets Rosé cut through the heavy carbs, cream and protein of Tuna Casserole, and not feel exhausted after three bites. Instead, the light fruit flavours seep in and mingle with your tastebuds, keeping them electrified and interested as the acidity of Rosé whisks the tongue coating carbs and fats away.
Pinot Noir & Mushroom Tuna Casserole Pairing
Pinot Noir is highly recommended if your Tuna Casserole calls for cream of mushroom soup as the earthy nature of the Pinot Noir complements those mushroom flavours. But don’t go thinking Pinot Noir is a wine that tastes like dirt or manure. Overall, Pinot Noir is a light red with fresh wild strawberry flavours and minimal tannin that won’t clash with the tuna flavours.
Sauvignon Blanc Paired with Tuna Casserole and Herbs
There are thousands of tried and true Tuna Casserole recipes out there with their own minor take on the classic comfort food dish. For example, some recipes might call for herbs such as Rosemary, Oregano or Basil. In this instance, we’d call for a Sauvignon Blanc as it has a ‘green’ element to the wine that complements anything herbal.
Like Rosé, with a Sauvignon Blanc, you have that nice crisp acidity which cuts through the layers of fat, carbs and protein and draws out the most delicious flavours of your Tuna Casserole.
Tuna Casserole & Unoaked Chardonnay
While a buttery and oaked Chardonnay will complement the rich and creamy flavours of a Tuna Casserole, Oaked Chardonnay is also full-bodied. Pairing a heavier white with a rich meal full of protein, fat and carbs might be gastronomically exhausting. Thus we lean more towards an unoaked Chardonnay, where the pear and apple flavours thrive among the crisp acidity that cuts through all the heavy carbs and fat content of Tuna Casserole.