Which Wine Goes with Salmon?
Salmon is one of the most versatile fish there is to prepare. Rich, fatty, flaky, and full of flavor; there are countless ways to make salmon. Grilled, smoked, sashimi, chowders, cream sauces, etc. Different preparations call for different wines.
The great thing about pairing wine with salmon is you can play around with different styles of wine to get the perfect pairing.
Pick Out Fresh Salmon
The key to all great cuisine- fresh ingredients. While not all of us are lucky enough to live next to local salmon runs, there are still ways to get (semi) fresh salmon that has not been frozen.
Support your local farmer’s market to get fresh ingredients for the rest of the dish.
Check out this salmon buying guide to help you choose a great fillet!
General Rule for Pairing Wine with Salmon
Full-bodied white wines are an excellent go-to wine pairing for salmon. Although what you pair with the salmon also depends on preparation and side dishes.
You can pair with sparkling wines, light-bodied white wines, roses, and even light red wines.
Already have the wine?
Already have the perfect bottle of wine that you have been dying to open? Prepare your salmon around your favorite wines. Salmon can go with so many different wines.
Check out these award-winning white wines for under $20.
Try a Brut Champagne or Cava with salmon cakes or a grilled salmon fillet with roasted potatoes. Remember that sparkling wine isn’t just for celebrations (although everything is more fun with bubbly), it can also be paired with so many great foods.
Light-bodied White Wine
There are many great salmon dishes for those who enjoy a refreshing and cool Gruner Veltliner, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Albarino, or the often forgotten but delicious Vermentino.
Try pairing with sashimi, salmon ceviche, or poached salmon with a fatty sauce.
Full-bodied White Wine
There are other great full white wines other than Chardonnay. Although, a buttery Chardonnay will be a great match for practically every salmon dish.
Try Semillon or a Viognier. Pair with salmon and hollandaise sauce, salmon fish cakes, or a grilled salmon pasta dish.
Sweet White Wine
Got a sweet tooth? Pair with a spicy Cajun-style salmon or Tandoori salmon. The sweetness of the wine will help cut through the spice of the dish.
Rose is a great choice for pairing with appetizers. It is so versatile and pairs with so many great appetizer plates. Try with smoked salmon spread and crackers or a teriyaki salmon dish.
Light Red Wine
Pinot Noir and Gamay lovers unite! There are great pairings for those who enjoy a glass of light red wine.
Pair with grilled, blackened, or BBQ salmon. The acidity from the wine will help ease the fat of the dish but the tannins won’t overwhelm the lightness of the dish.
Ready to start cooking?
Need inspiration? Check out these easy and delicious salmon recipes.
The key to pairing wine and food is to pair with the whole flavor of the dish, not just the main ingredient.
Pair wine with salmon based on how to cook it and the sauces you put on it.
Grilled, Blackened, or BBQ’d
A classic way to cook salmon. Pair with a Rose or Gamay if the salmon is served with a rich side dish like risotto. For lighter grilled salmon dishes, pair with a bold white wine like Viognier.
Grill the perfect salmon using cedar planks.
A rich way to prepare salmon and a great addition to any appetizer plate. Pair with any rose. For those who prefer white, pair with a Sauvignon Blanc or Chablis.
A crisp white wine like Gruner Veltliner or Vermentino will pair well with sashimi. These wines will also go with other raw fish dishes.
Check out this great ginger salmon sashimi recipe.
Salad with Grilled Salmon
A light salmon salad pairs well with a crisp white wine. Pair with Albarino or Pinot Gris. These wines will go with a salmon salad that has a lighter vinegarette dressing or a creamy dressing.
Even better than crab cakes…salmon cakes. Salmon cakes also make a great appetizer dish but can be made into a main entree. They are great over potatoes or risotto. Pair with a rich Chardonnay or Roussane.
A great alternative to clam chowder. Make with chunks of potato and top with paprika. Salmon chowder is a rich and creamy chowder that is perfect for any winter evening. Pair with Champagne or Cava.
Sauce it up
The sauce makes everything better. For those who want to spice up their salmon dish, try adding a homemade sauce to it.
While these sauces compliment salmon, they can be rich. Be sure to pair with the flavor of the sauce rather than focusing on the salmon.
Hollandaise or a creamy dill sauce is great over a fresh piece of grilled salmon. Pair with Chardonnay, Roussanne, or Soave.
Lemon Cream Sauce
For an all-around classic dish, use a lemon cream sauce. Pair with a buttery Chardonnay. The creaminess of the Chardonnay will pair well with the acidic lemon flavors.
Teriyaki or Maple Sauce
Sweeter sauces like teriyaki or maple call for an acidic and crisp white. Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris will help cut through the sweetness of the dish and cleanse your palate.
Cajun Style or Spicy Sauce
For those who like a little kick of flavor, try pairing with a slightly sweet wine. Off-dry Riesling or Gewurztraminer will help cut through the spice of the dish.
Expand your horizons and explore different salmon dishes and wine pairings.
With thousands of delicious recipes to choose from with just as many wines, you will never run out of new salmon and wine pairings to choose from.
What is your favorite salmon dish? Which wine do you like to pair with that dish?
Salmon isn’t the only fish that is best paired with wine. Check out these other fish and wine pairings.