Salmon pairs nicely with lighter red wines, rosé wines, dry whites, and sparkling wines due to its darker flesh.
While there aren’t many strict guidelines anymore for wine pairings, you’ll discover that some wines go better with salmon than others.
Pinot Noir or red Burgundy wine is one of the most traditional salmon combinations.
Pinot Noir and Burgundy are lighter-bodied, aromatic red wines that pair well with the robust flavours of wild Pacific salmon and Copper River salmon.
They have hints of dark fruit and floral aromas and flavours. Try a rosé of Pinot Noir, which will have slightly lighter flavours to match the fish, if you’re searching for lighter flavours to go with delicately flavoured Atlantic or farmed salmon.
Another great option could be Beaujolais. Both Beaujolais and Beaujolais Nouveau are light-bodied red wines with characteristics of fruit and earth that are made from the Gamay grape.
Low tannin levels in the wines complement salmon well and prevent the wine from dominating the fish.
This goes well with salmon that has been roasted in the oven or salmon that has a fruit sauce, like salmon with cherry sauce.
Ten Wines That Go Best With Salmon
Looking for more options? Here is a list of wines that go best with Salmon.
5 White wines that go well with salmon
Salmon grilled with lemon juice or fresh herbs goes beautifully with Sauvignon Blanc’s crisp acidity and citrus flavour.
Whether you choose unoaked Chardonnay or fuller-bodied Chardonnay that has been matured in oak, pairing it with salmon in a creamy sauce or butter is a surefire success
For a salmon dish with softer notes, this lovely white wine is a great option (e.g., baked salmon or poached salmon.)
This wine pairs beautifully with any spicy or savoury-sweet salmon dish because to its excellent tropical scents and citrus flavour notes.
So if you want to fish made of sweet syrup, brown sugar, or ginger, this wine is your go-to choice.
5. Pinot Gris:
Salmon pairs well with most meaty fish and seafood dishes, including Pinot Gris, a light, fruity white wine.
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Grenache and its Spanish sister, Garnacha, are excellent pairings with grilled or smoked salmon. The earthy and smoky characteristics of the medium-bodied red Grenache stand up well to the salmon’s smokey flavour.
The medium acidity and tannins in the wine will also assist to balance out the fattiness of the fish and create a satisfying meal.
7. Pinot Noir:
Pinot Noir or red Burgundy wine is one of the most traditional salmon combinations. Pinot Noir and Burgundy are lighter bodied, aromatic red wines that pair well with the robust flavours of wild Pacific salmon and Copper River salmon.
They have hints of dark fruit and floral aromas and flavours. Try a rosé of Pinot Noir, which will have slightly lighter flavours to match the fish, if you’re searching for lighter flavours go with delicately flavoured Atlantic or farmed salmon
This famous white wine from Argentina pairs nicely with salmon, especially hotter or raw versions like ceviche or salmon sushi, thanks to its mild acidity and fruity notes.
While the fruit tastes in the Torrontés perfectly complement the spiciness, the acidity cuts through the fattiness of the fish.
9. Dry Rosé
Salmon cooked in the oven or grilled is the ideal food pairing for a dry rosé in the summer.
Choose a rosé created utilising the saignée technique, which involves bleeding some wine from a batch of red wine to enhance the tastes.
Saignée is a fantastic wine to combine with salmon because it is frequently stronger than other rosé wines made using different techniques.
All varieties of French Champagne go well with salmon. Champagne is a sparkling wine with strong flavours that balances the fattiness and flavours of the salmon. It is made from blends of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier as well as some other minor varietals.
The most popular option, however, Pinot Noir, is a good alternative if you’re not sure which wine to choose. The more acidic quality of this wine complements the savoury flavour of the fish.
What Wine Goes Best With Salmon And Asparagus?
The most common pairing is with Sauvignon Blanc, which can have a distinct asparagus flavour of its own. To bring back those flavours in the wine, add another ingredient to the plate, such as salmon, chicken, or goat cheese.
Asparagus can emphasise wines that have a slight sweetness, making them challenging to pair. White wines with prominent tannins and oaked flavours are typically not very successful (apart from when paired with rich, buttery sauces).
Another wine that goes well with a Salmon and asparagus preparation is Semillon-Sauvignon blends, especially from Bordeaux or Western Australia which generally work well.
Australian Hunter Valley Semillon is crisp and lively while young, but it develops more complexity and oil as it ages. It is considered the ideal wine for fresh and lightly cooked shellfish or any other seafood, especially those with Asian flavours.
Style To Look For When Pairing Wine With Salmon
|Style Of Salmon||Wine Style|
|Seared salmon||Chilled Pinot Noir, Chardonnay|
|Smoked salmon||Blanc de Blancs Champagne, English sparkling wine, Riesling, manzanilla Sherry|
|Herbs and citrus||Sauvignon Blanc|
|Sweet spice (ginger) or Miso||Pinot Gris, Riesling|
|Sushi||Sauvignon Blanc, especially Sancerre|
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Italian Red Wines That Go With Salmon
Any type of salmon, whether grilled, blackened, poached, roasted, etc., goes well with these 5 red wines. You should be able to purchase bottles of each sort of wine I recommended at a Total Wine or other larger nearby wine store for under $20.
The red grape known as Gamay is mostly grown in France’s Beaujolais wine region, which is located beneath Burgundy. It produces fruit-forward, light red wines with little tannins. Gamay and Pinot Noir are related in terms of flavour and share many characteristics.
Poached fish wouldn’t be overpowered by this red wine because it has one of the lightest bodies you can find. Salmon that has been blackened or cooked in a tandoori sauce will hold up just fine.
If you want to treat yourself, I suggest buying a Beaujolais Cru from Morgon or Chiroubles because they have excellent structure and high acidity, which would pair very well with grilled fish and a fruity balsamic sauce.
- Pinot Noir
Given how similar Pinot Noir is to Gamay, it should come as no surprise that it pairs well with salmon. Pinot Noir is a grape that creates light-bodied wines with strong acidity and minimal tannins, much like Gamay.
Depending on its origin, pinot noir can have extremely varied flavours. In contrast to Pinot Noir from California, which tends toward the jammier end of the range, Pinot Noir from the Burgundy region of France, for instance, tends to be more savoury and earthy.
I would personally suggest a bottle of Burgundy to go with salmon. Salmon topped with a rich mushroom sauce would be a wonderful match for the earthy, nuanced tastes of a Red Burgundy.
Red sparkling wine from Northern Italy created from the same-named grapes is known as lambrusco. It has a terrific body and a hint of tannin in addition to being quite fruity and pleasant.
Despite the fact that many Lambruscos are off-dry (i.e., semi-sweet), dry Lambrusco is gaining popularity. Depending on how the salmon is prepared, either will go nicely.
I would choose an off-dry Lambrusco if you are having fish with a spicy sauce/rub or a maple glaze. I’d pick a dry Lambrusco to go with grilled salmon or salmon that has been heavily herbified.
Frequently Asked Question
1. Is red or white wine better with salmon?
Salmon goes with both red and White Wine. Depending on your liking for wine, salmon pairs well with red, white, or even rosé.
Red wine goes great with grilled, roasted, and blackened salmon, while white wine goes well with poached, curried, and glazed fish.
2. What drink goes well with salmon?
Rich, fatty fish like salmon generally match well with full-bodied white wines like Chardonnay, Viognier, Marsanne, White Rioja, White Burgundy, and White Pinot Noir that have been aged in the wood.
3. Is Pinot Grigio good with salmon?
Salmon pairs particularly well with Pinot Grigio, as do most other fish. This delicate white wine pairs wonderfully with lemon-based sauces and fish dishes that don’t have a heavy sauce. With overtones of pear and peach, this white wine has a more succulent flavour than Riesling.
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