If you’ve been interested in wines for a long time now, you know that wine goes well with salmon. But it’s not known to some who are just starting to love wines. Here’s everything you need to know about what wine goes with salmon, and the different recipes that best pair with it!
Are you getting bored of pairing salmon with Chardonnay over and over again? The good news is you have so many options on this page to achieve a well-balanced and delicious combination.
Look no further because here are the best salmon and wine pairings you’ll love:
Pairing Salmon and Wine
Whether roasted, grilled, or seared, salmon pairs well with many beverages, especially wine. Salmon and wine make an excellent combination, making the pairing a fantastic feel-good meal to end your week.
You may have heard of what other people say about salmon and white wine not pairing well. That traditional rule of fish and white wine is probably what you’re thinking.
However, compared to other fish such as tilapia, anchovies, sardines, and cod, salmon has a meatier and richer flavor. Salmon’s texture and taste make the combination of wine and fish an outlier.
White Wine and Salmon
It’s no secret that full-bodied white wines go excellently with rich, oily salmon. In fact, white wine is often the go-to choice of many to pair with their salmon. Generally, white wines go well with grilled fish, sushi, and Mexican food. They blend well because of their characteristics.
White wines go well with salmon because it’s relatively lighter than red wine. Hence, the texture and flavors of white wine do not overpower that of the seafood. White wine also has higher acidity compared to the other types. It compliments the fish perfectly, creating a balance that others consider top-notch.
Full-bodied white wines are best for those who enjoy red wine but want a rich, smooth taste to go with their salmon. The best white wines you can pair with salmon are oak-aged Chardonnay, White Rioja, White Burgundy, and Marsanne.
Here’s a brief list of the white wines that go well with salmon:
- Pinot Grigio
- Pinot Gris
- Sweet Riesling
- Unoaked Chardonnay
- White wines from Southwest France
- Italian Falanghina
- Sicily’s Chardonnay Blend
- Sardegna, Italy’s Vermentino
- Mâconnais from Burgundy
- Gros Manseng
Red Wine and Salmon
Like white wine, red wine and salmon also make a fantastic pair. Steak-like seafood like salmon complements reds well. Salmon has a rich and flavorful taste which blends well with red wine.
However, the combination for this pair can be tricky. The type of red wine is essential to achieve the best pairing, as some reds can overpower the flavors of your fish.
Light-bodied reds are the wine of choice for pairing with salmon. Luckily, there’s an extensive list of light red wines available in the market! Included in the list are the Zweigelt, Cinsaut, Lambrusco, Gamay, Cuonoise, and Pinotage. Don’t forget the White Pinot Noir! It’s one of the most popular choices of wine to pair with salmon.
Pinot Noir has a higher acidity level than most reds, making it one of the best options for serving with fish. Pinot Noir has fruity flavors, too, which complement the salmon’s buttery and rich taste.
Here are other light-bodied red wines that pair best with salmon:
- Fleur de Camille
- Zinfandel or Primitivo
- Pinot Noir
- Blaufränkisch (Lemberger) – an Austrian variety with higher tannins
Rosé Wine and Salmon
Most rosé wines go well with all kinds of salmon dishes – whether grilled, poached, seared, or roasted. Dry rosés are the best pick to complement any salmon dish.
Dry rosé wines have fruity notes and the perfect balance of acidity that doesn’t overpower the salmon’s flavors. They have characteristics and wine properties that make rosé wines and salmon an excellent combo.
You don’t need to limit it to still wines. You can try serving sparkling rosé wines and salmon dishes together.
Below are the top rosé wines you can pair with any salmon dish:
- Pinot Noir Dry Rosé Wine
- Mourvedre Dry Rosé Wine
- Tempranillo Dry Rosé Wine
- Cabernet Sauvignon Dry Rosé Wine
Ways to serve salmon and wine:
Now that you know the general options to combine wine and salmon, let’s get a little more specific! There are so many ways to prepare salmon and wine. We made an exciting list for you to try in your upcoming weeknight. Let’s start!
1. Honey Glazed Salmon
Sweet-glazed salmon is made of flavorful ingredients like maple syrup and honey. If you’re going for a sweet, lighter preparation like a sweet glazed salmon dish, citrusy wines are a fantastic selection.
It’s better to veer away from sweet wine options so as not to overpower the taste of your glazed salmon dish. You can try citrus-flavored wines like Pinot Gris, Pinot Grigio, and Viognier.
Rieslings from Germany can also be an excellent option.
2. Farmed Salmon
Farmed salmon generally have a lighter taste than wild salmon. Hence, serving farmed salmon with a fuller-bodied wine can be a fantastic choice. Farmed salmon goes well with Pinot Noir. We suggest finding a bottle of Pinot Noir in a delicate style. You can find one in cooler regions like France, Oregon, or Germany.
Cabernet Sauvignon can work with farmed salmon, although Pinot Noir is much more delicate.
3. Grilled Smoked Salmon with Wine
Grilled salmon adds a smoky flavor to the fish. Grilling produces an elegant meaty texture exquisite enough to pair with your favorite wines.
Grilling can create a bold, strong taste that complements fuller-bodied wines well. Examples of full-bodied wines are Syrah and Grenache, which you can serve with grilled salmon dishes.
Another perfect wine for grilled salmon is Oregon Pinot Noir. It gives a delicious match between the two, making salmon’s meaty and rich flavors stand out.
Besides Syrah, Grenache, and Oregon Pinot Noir, wine enthusiasts also love the combination of delicious Beaujolais and grilled salmon. Zinfandel and smoky salmon make a lovely pair, too!
4. Lemon Garlic Salmon With Wine
One of the best ways to serve salmon is with butter, garlic, and lemon. To complement the fresh flavors of the rich salmon, you can try pairing it up with a white wine like Sauvignon Blanc. Sauvignon Blanc creates a delicious combination with salmon, thanks to its acidity and citrus notes.
While it can get boring for some, you can also try a Chardonnay and lemon garlic salmon pair. Chardonnay and salmon make a classic, delectable combination perfect for a weeknight.
5. Poached Salmon With Wine
Poached salmon is a simple preparation compared to the ones mentioned above, but it also makes an exquisite pair with wine. It goes well with white wines, like White Rioja, White Pinot Noir, and oak-aged Chardonnay.
The light and fruity flavors of white wine blend well with the meaty taste and texture of poached salmon. White wine can bring out the richness of your poached salmon dish.
6. Raw Salmon with Wine
It’s not only grilled, smoked, roasted, or glazed salmon that you can pair with wine. Raw salmon works too! Uncooked salmon or sashimi blends well with white and sparkling wines. The acidity and fresh, citrus notes of white wine make an excellent blend with raw salmon.
White wines and sparkling ones balance the acidity of the sashimi without any strong flavors overpowering the dish. Examples of these wines include Chandon Brut, Moscato d’Asti, Prosecco, and Clairette de Die.
7. Crispy Salmon With Wine
Salmon has a meaty texture, similar to steak. Because of this, salmon and wine make a perfect combination, especially crispy salmon.
Crispy salmon is cooked in a hot skillet with vegetable oil to achieve a flaky, steak-like skin texture. This preparation calls for a rich white wine of fine minerality. Crispy salmon dishes are best paired with good white Burgundy or citrus, fruity wine like Chardonnay.
Other wines you can consider for pairing with crispy salmon preparations are Carignan, Lambrusco, Beaujolais, and Grenache.
8. Oven-Baked Salmon With Wine
If you love baked salmon, here’s good news: pairing baked salmon dishes with wine is not so tricky. You can choose light-bodied red wine to achieve a delicious combo. Light-bodied reds, especially ones with low tannins, fruity flavors, and earthy notes, are excellent selections for oven-baked salmon.
An example is the Beaujolais. It has moderate to high acid levels that match oven-baked salmon dishes.
9. Teriyaki Salmon
Teriyaki salmon is mouthwatering, and we believe that’s an understatement! To prepare this dish, marinate the salmon with teriyaki sauce. Then, glaze the salmon with sugar, maple syrup, or honey according to your sweetness preference.
This delicious salmon preparation goes well with most types of wine, including Dry Riesling, Pinot Noir, and Gewurztraminer.
We hope our list has laid out all the exciting wine and salmon combinations you can prepare for your meal. If you think we missed any of your favorite pairs, don’t hesitate to let us know below!
George Moore, co-founder of Wine Flavor Guru, is a charismatic entrepreneur with a rich background in California’s wine industry. Alongside Sylvia, he transformed a Sonoma County vineyard into a source of premium wines. George’s expertise in sourcing exceptional grapes and his approachable style make wine appreciation both accessible and engaging.