wine and salmon pairing

Every wine enthusiast knows that wine pairing with salmon, if done correctly, can significantly enhance the overall quality of the dish. If you’re only just starting your journey with wine pairing and wondering what wine goes well with salmon, we’re about to answer all questions you might have.

We’ve collected a list of wines to drink with salmon, along with delicious salmon meal ideas to combine with your favorite wines. Read our guide and learn how to master the art of salmon and wine pairing to create well-balanced and delicious combinations.

Salmon and Wine Pairing

Whether you prefer your salmon roasted, grilled, or seared, the fish will go well with wine, no matter the way it’s prepared. Although fish dishes are generally considered to make a great pair with white wine, a decadent and oily pink-fleshed salmon is a more versatile dish in this case.

Salmon is meatier and richer in flavor than other types of fish, like tilapia, cod, or anchovies. Its texture and taste make it, therefore, a great match with different types of wines, including dry white wines, light red wines, rosé wines, and sparkling wines.

There are many things that may affect the choice of wine to drink with salmon, and these include, for example, the sauce and side dishes it is served with. The main idea is to create a balance of flavors that complement and enhance each other without overpowering one another. While achieving this balance may be difficult with bold-flavored salmon, it’s important to opt for a wine that has a strong taste on its own.

Best Wines to Pair with Salmon

From flavor-enhancing whites to balancing light reds, here are a few examples of the best wines good with salmon.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc

A crisp Sauvignon Blanc with herbal notes is another great example of white wine for salmon. Its high acidity and grassy flavor will balance the fattiness of the fish.

If you’re looking for the best wine to pair with salmon, Sauvignon Blanc is your safe bet. The acidity and citrus notes of the wine will complement the fresh flavors of the rich salmon, especially in dishes packed with garlic and lemon.

Chardonnay

Chardonnay

Classic Chardonnay is a common wine to pair with salmon as it makes a perfect combination with rich fish and shellfish, such as lobster and crab. It will combat the richness of salmon and work well as a palate cleanser. For many wine enthusiasts, Chardonnay is the best white wine for salmon.

A creamy and oaky Chardonnay will create a particularly divine pairing with a salmon served with cream- or butter-based sauce, like popular Beurre Blanc, Béarnaise, lemon dill cream sauce, or creamy horseradish dill sauce.

Grenache

Grenache

Grenache, also known as Garnacha, is a medium to full-bodied red wine originally made in the southern regions of France. Its medium acidity and tannins make it a great red wine to pair with salmon, as it will cut through the richness of the fish to create a perfectly balanced dining experience.

It has an earthy and smoky flavor which will combine particularly well with smoked or grilled salmon.

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is one of the classic choices when it comes to pairing red wines with salmon. It’s light-bodied, low-tannin, and features aromatic dark fruit and floral flavors that match incredibly well with bold-flavored salmon.

Similarly to Grenache, a glass of decadent Pinot Noir will make a fantastic pair with a grilled, smoky salmon whose intense flavors will stand out, enhanced by equally rich red wine.

Dry Rosé

Dry rosé is also a great wine that pairs with salmon, especially the one that is made using the saignée method. This method is based on blending some of the wine with red wine in order to deepen the flavor. This way, the rosé is bolder than other wines of the same type, which makes it a great pairing with salmon.

A glass of rosé will be best enjoyed with light summer salmon salads, as well as baked or grilled salmon.

Sparkling Wine

Sparkling wine, especially French champagne, is another good wine for salmon. The French variety is mainly made from the combination of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier. Such a divine combo creates bold-flavored sparkling wine that brings balance to the fattiness and intense taste of the salmon.

The burst of flavor and high acidity of the wine will pair very well with smoked salmon, for example, served with a bagel, cream cheese, and salty capers. This delicious pairing will enhance the salty-fishy notes of the salmon.

The Best Salmon Meal Ideas to Pair with Wine

salmon dish

You can prepare salmon in a variety of ways. As such, the choice of wine will highly depend on how your salmon is prepared and what it’s served with. Here are some ideas of what wine goes with salmon in different salmon dishes.

Crispy Skin Salmon

The steak-like texture and flakiness of a crispy skin salmon bring incredible dining sensations. As it’s meaty and rich in flavor, it will call for an equally flavorsome red wine.

Wines that go well with salmon (crispy skin):

• Grenache/Garnacha

• Beaujolais

• Valipocella blend

• Carignan

Glazed Salmon – Teriyaki

Although there are many variations of this style, their main common feature is the use of sweetness achieved from, for example, brown sugar, pineapple, or agave syrup. A sweet factor combined with rich salmon creates a divine sweet and savory mix of flavors., which can be enhanced with sparkling and sweet wines.

Best wine for salmon (glazed):

• Lambrusco

• Muscat Blanc

• Dry Riesling

Salmon Stew

This Brazilian dish employs the use of tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, coconut milk, and obviously, delightful salmon. The fresh flavors of this hearty and delicious meal are best jazzed up with high-acidity wines.

The best wine with salmon stew:

• Dry Sherry

• Sercial Madeira

• Orange Wine

The Bottom Line

So, what wine pairs well with salmon? In fact, red, white, rosé, and sparkling wines can make a great pairing with your favorite salmon dish. The key thing to keep in mind is to select a wine that will not overpower this already bold-flavored fish and the additional ingredients it’s served with.

After all, the most satisfying salmon wine pairing is the one that suits our palates best, so feel free to experiment with different wines to find your perfect match. If you’re still looking for the best wine pairing with salmon, we encourage you to sign up for our subscription box, where you can try a variety of premium wines for great value for money. Test wines from the comfort of your home and find your favorite match for your salmon dish.

If you’re looking for more food and wine pairing inspiration, check out our guide!