Salmon is one of the most luxurious foods for dinner, and it’s pretty hard to go wrong with whatever type you choose. But if you’re thinking of serving it on a special occasion, you may want to take a closer look at the wine possibilities.
What Wine Goes Best With Salmon?
You don’t need to be a gourmet chef to serve salmon with wine. All you really need to know is the type of salmon you are serving and the type of wine that best complements it.
When add butter or poached olive oil to your filet, it will end up with a very silky texture, which, if you like it that way, then go for it. But if you prefer a roasted salmon, then you can add the same thing and it will give it a heartier texture. You can also add red wine to it to top it off and have a more assertive flavor.
So when you serve your guests, why not try pairing their favorite type of salmon with their favorite type of wine!
There’s no better way to please them than by providing a combination of something they love. Traditionally, white wine is the best choice when you’re cooking fish. But that’s not really true of salmon.
This type of fish has a twinge more flavor than your average cod or tilapia. So if that’s the case, then how can you choose a wine to pair with it? We’ve done some research and there are plenty of options out there!
Here are five perfect pairings that will complement your dinner:
Related: 6 Best Salmon For Sushi
1. Pinot Noir
If you want to pair salmon with a wine that really brings out its natural flavors and marries deliciously into a gastronomical feast for your taste buds, then my vote goes to Pinot Noir.
The dark color alone sets this apart from other wines popularly paired with salmon, but there are plenty of reasons why it works well as an accompaniment. A lot of it has to do with the salmon itself, which is rich in omega 3s and contains a decent range of acids—both characteristics that Pinot Noir is known for.
Why Choose Pinot Noir?
Pinot Noir wines from different regions can be paired with salmon in almost any circumstance.
They’re Versatile – Most Pinot Noirs are quite versatile when it comes to food pairing, which is great news for those who have a hard time choosing which pinots they want on their menu.
They’re Elegant – Some Pinots are very elegant in taste as well, while others tend to fall more into the category of an easy-drinking wine with a good bit of fruit flavor and acidity. This makes them perfect for any meal, so it’s really up to you as far as what type of salmon you’re going to be having, and how formal or informal you’re planning on making your dinner party.
What Style Of Cooked Salmon Goes Well With Pinot Noir?
Salmon has been paired with Pinot Noir at restaurants since the beginning of time because they just work so well together.
If you’re going for a savory meal that’s more on the rich and heavy side, then a seared or grilled salmon with Pinot Noir is where it’s at. This can be anything from an informal family barbecue to a holiday dinner party, but the key is to make sure your dish has some sort of spice on it to balance out the natural sweetness inherent in this wine.
For those who prefer something sweet with their salmon, feel free to opt for roasted or braised varieties. Those dishes are great for more formal occasions like weddings and Thanksgiving dinners. What makes this combination particularly good is that when paired with Pinot Noir, salmon can be enjoyed without a lot of fuss or hard-to-find ingredients.
As far as seafood and wine pairings go, Chardonnay is one of the most popular options out there. This is because it’s got a lot of versatility when it comes to flavor.
It can balance out the rich fish flavors in your meal without overpowering them, which makes this a great option for more casual dinners with family and friends. And it pairs just as well with grilled salmon on cedar planks at your neighborhood barbecue as it does with a creamy lobster bisque over buttery noodles at an elegant dinner party.
Why Choose Chardonnay?
If you’re having company over or hosting a dinner party where you think some wine will be involved but you’re not sure what kind to choose, Chardonnay is a good choice. It’s one of the most versatile wines out there, and its general mildness makes it easy to pair with almost anything.
They’re Affordable – Of course, what would an article about wine be nowadays without mentioning price? While this isn’t a major factor in why you should choose Chardonnay, it’s still worth noting that this wine is typically much less expensive than Pinot Noir and other similar varieties.
They’re Versatile – This is pretty self-explanatory based on what we just went over above, but I’ll give you some more information regarding how to use Chardonnays for your salmon dinner:
What Style Of Cooked Salmon Goes Well With Chardonnay?
If your salmon dinner is more on the elegant side, then you might want to opt for a Chardonnay that’s been aged in oak barrels. The woody flavor in these wines can go well with a buttery salmon dish with rich flavors from sauces or gravies. For example, if you’re serving up salmon with lobster sauce or garlic herb butter, this wine will probably have enough body to balance it out without getting lost in the sauce.
3. Sauvignon Blanc
When it comes to salmon dishes, Sauvignon Blanc has long been considered one of the most classic wine matches. Its acidity and milder flavors make it a good choice for lighter fare, including this fishy favorite. It is an aromatic wine.
Aromatic wines have flavors associated with herbs and spices rather than fruit. These wines tend to be lower in tannins and higher in acidity than red wines. They are very well-rounded wines that come from many regions throughout the world but are mostly grown in the cooler regions of France and New Zealand.
Why Choose Sauvignon Blanc?
Sauvignon Blanc has a long history of being paired with seafood, including salmon. There are many aromatic whites that pair well with salmon, and Sauvignon Blanc is just one of them. This wine also has quite a bit of acidity in its flavor profile which works great with the fat content found in fish.
While it may seem like an obvious choice for wine pairing with salmon, there are more expensive wines that aren’t necessarily better than Sauvignon Blanc when it comes to matching up flavors or pairing to food.
And since this wine doesn’t have too many different styles or regions (as opposed to Pinot Noir), you won’t need to spend hours researching what kind will work best with your meal.
Related: How To Choose Sushi-Grade Seafood
What Style Of Cooked Salmon Goes Well With Sauvignon Blanc?
This white wine tends to be on the light side, so it will work with almost any salmon dish no matter how you prepare it: grilled or steamed, served in sauce or plain.
You’re looking for something that can balance out the rich flavor of the fish without overwhelming other components in your meal such as vegetables and sauces. Sauvignon Blanc is also an ideal pairing if you plan on having some snacks before dinner like appetizers or a big salad with croutons. It has just enough body to stand up to these foods before leading into the main course but not so much that you’ll need something stronger afterward.
As an aromatic wine, Sauvignon Blanc also matches beautifully with traditional seafood herbs like dill and tarragon.
In Switzerland, a classic pairing is a salmon cooked in a white wine infused with fresh dill. The result is a flaky fish enhanced by the herbal notes of the wine and dish. Enjoy this type of preparation with a crisp full-bodied Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, such as Kim Crawford or Nobilo.
4. Bedrock Zinfandel
The sweet fruitiness of the zinfandel complements the texture of the fish while its tannin backbone can handle a crisp salad or your favorite potato side dish without overpowering it. This wine is enjoyable alone as an evening drink but it also works great as a cocktail or dessert pairing.
It’s a great option to be paired with salmon since it is balanced: not too sweet, not too tart. This wine has ripe berry flavors so it will work well with almost any preparation for salmon you make—even grilled salmon!
Why Choose Bedrock Zinfandel?
Pairing Bedrock Zinfandel with salmon is pretty straightforward, as the wine has an ideal pH level to match up with the streamlined flavors and textures found in fish.
It is a richly flavored wine that shouldn’t be too bold or acidic. This full-bodied type of zinfandel also has notes of berry, which makes it a great match for salmon.
And while this wine definitely has enough tannin to handle most fish dishes after cooking, if you’re planning on serving the salmon with something like potato salad or even plain rice, then go ahead and try Bedrock Zinfandel as your main white. It’s just strong enough to stand up to both but not so heavy that it will overwhelm other foods served at the same time.
What Style Of Cooked Salmon Goes Well With Bedrock Zinfandel?
Bold and spicy, Bedrock Zinfandel pairs nicely with the nutty and smoky flavors in grilled salmon. Aged in French oak barrels, this wine has an excellent structure that will stand up to a sprinkling of spices on top of your dish.
With its hardiness and bold flavor, it’s best served with salmon dishes ranging from mild to slightly more robust. Think along the lines of Lemon Grass Soy Salmon Kabobs or Grilled Salmon Fillets in Cajun Butter Sauce on a bed of rice or quinoa.
5. Cabernet Sauvignon
With a rich, robust flavor that stands up to just about any dish on the table as well as hearty cuts of meat like steak or lamb chops, Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the best wines out there for pairing with salmon and other fish dishes. It’s got enough acid and acidity to balance out fatty flavors without being overly tart nor too heavy so you can actually enjoy your food!
The tannins in this wine will also help cleanse your palate after you finish eating as well. If you’re currently going through a bottle faster than normal due to its bold taste (which I wouldn’t blame you for), then go ahead and experiment with pairing it with fish dishes that are a bit lighter. If your salmon is dressed in oil, butter or any type of cream sauce (à la beurre blanc) then a Cabernet Sauvignon is the way to go.
Since this wine is darker in color and tends to be bolder than everything else on the table, you’ll want one that’s at least from an okay year if not something really high end and pricey so you can enjoy all its complex flavors without worrying about going bad before finishing it. It goes without saying that anything “Meritage” gets right into my personal wheelhouse as far as price range goes but since tastes vary, choose whatever fits yours best!
Why Choose Cabernet Sauvignon?
This full-bodied red wine has notes of black currants and plums, which means it will pair nicely with salmon because that fish has similar flavors – think about a Salmon Fillet in Spiced Black Currant Sauce.
It also pairs well with other types of rich fish so you can even use this for Mediterranean dishes like Grilled Salmon Tacos or even seared tuna. Just keep in mind that its bold taste comes from an intense concentration of fruit flavors like cherry and blackberry – all things considered, these flavors blend perfectly together into one delicious taste!
What Style Of Cooked Salmon Goes Well With Cabernet Sauvignon?
Cabernet Sauvignon is best paired with any type of salmon that’s not overly fatty or creamy but if it were me, I’d have to go with salmon filets that have been seared or grilled just shy of the medium.
The wine will nicely compliment the fish’s natural nuttiness and while you’ll still get those bold flavors from the wine, they won’t overpower the lighter textures found in salmon—especially when it comes to grilling! The wine also goes well with smoked salmon as well which should be something more than a pleasant surprise for most of us!