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What Wine Goes Best with Salmon


If salmon is on the menu, do you know which wine should be served with it? Here are some ideas to help you find that bottle of wine suited for this meal.

About Salmon and Wine

Generally choosing the right wine is fairly simple: fish and poultry go well with white wines. While beef goes well with red wines. But, there are many other factor to consider, such as side dishes, sauces, and variations in the main meal. The ideal is to find harmony between the flavours, allowing both the food and wine to be experienced and enjoyed without overshadowing one another.

With salmon, this balance can be difficult. A versatile and popular main course in both homes and restaurants, salmon isn’t like other fish. It has a richer flavor, and it can overpower a light-bodied wine. It’s important to choose a bottle that has strong and complex flavors of its own.

What Wine Goes Best with Salmon?

Before you select your wine, give some thought to the rest of the meal. Food and wine pairing can be a little complex, and several factors can influence your choice.

Salmon Preparation

How are you preparing the salmon? Some cooking methods will change the flavor of the fish. Grilling, for instance, commonly adds a smoky flavor to the salmon. While this is a great way to prepare your dish, it may affect your choice of wine. A fuller bodied wine with notes of smoke and earth will pair well with grilled salmon.

The same goes for sauces. Salmon can be wonderful with yogurt and dill, but the tartness of the yogurt may be better complemented with a slightly sweeter wine. If you use a maple syrup glaze on your salmon, you may not want such a sweet wine choice. Instead, choose a wine with citrus notes or a mineral character to cut through the sweetness of the glaze.

Additionally, you may choose to serve uncooked salmon in the form of sashimi, gravlax, or another ethnic dish. Cooking the fish can dramatically change both its texture and flavor, so keep this in mind when choosing a wine.

Side Dishes

While the most important consideration for food-wine pairings is the main course, it’s also a good idea to think about the side dishes. Salmon is great with many vegetables, as well as rice or potatoes. However, you should analyze how these side dishes might affect the flavor of your wine.

Personal Preference

Wine pairings are also a matter of personal preference. While a certain white wine may be best suited to your meal, you may prefer to drink red wines. Your taste preferences are just as important as any other factor. With a little research, you can find a wine you love that is perfect for your meal.

Wine Recommendations for Salmon

Depending on the flavors of your meal, one of these wines could be an excellent choice:

  • Pinot Noir

is a great choice if you love red wine. It’s especially excellent with salmon prepared on the grill, and it can hold up to the strong flavor of this fish.

  • Pinot Grigio

is wonderful with most seafood, including salmon. This light white wine is best with salmon that doesn’t have a strong sauce, and it is excellent with acidic yogurt- or lemon-based sauces.

  • Sauvignon Blanc

is also a great white wine for lighter salmon dishes. It’s important to choose a bottle that is not too fruity.

  • Zinfandel

is very good with blackened or grilled salmon. Look for a bottle that is somewhat fruity and not too dry.