A Crash Course in Pairing Wine With Salmon

Salmon makes an excellent meal, but there’s a way to make it even better! Pairing your dish with a carefully chosen wine.

It can be difficult to pair salmon with wine since it exists in a bit of a limbo between lighter white fish meals and heavier red meat dishes like steak.

However, here are some great ideas for salmon-wine combination pairings.

(Btw, if tasty food & wine pairings is something you enjoy – grab our free Food & Wine pairing guide)

Your best bet is likely to be a lighter-bodied red wine such as a Pinot Noir.

Pinot is often much too heavy for lighter white fish and too light for all but the most lean red meat dishes, but it turns out to be perfectly balanced for being served together.

Herb grilled salmon on a cedar plank and Pinot Noir is one excellent choice, as the flavors of those grilled herbs come forward wonderfully when paired with a good Pinot.

Meanwhile, if you’re serving buttered salmon you need to pair a rich white wine like a Chardonnay that has the flavor to stand up to salmon.

A more plain white fish would have its flavor completely overpowered by a Chardonnay, but buttered salmon’s creamy flavor complements Chardonnay’s rich taste in a way that improves the quality of both dish and drink.

Finally, consider an acidic but crisp wine like a Riesling to bring out the best flavors of a salmon meal.

With the best Riesling containing notes of citrus and lime that complements the taste of salmon quite well, and with the ability of Riesling to handle spicier dishes with aplomb, preparing your salmon dish with a set of more exotic flavors could lead to a quite memorable meal that will leave your guests clamoring for more.