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What kind of wine goes well with salmon?

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Refreshing and subtle taste, salmon is a tender and flavorful fish that can be cooked with so many different seasonings. From salmon fillets to patties, there are endless ways to prepare classical cuisine.

Salmon is a reasonably versatile fish, but it depends on the type of salmon and what is going to be done with it. The preparation of the salmon determines how to pair with wine.

What kind of wine goes well with salmon? Generally, rich oily fish like salmon complement beautifully with full-bodied white wines including oak-aged chardonnay, viognier, marsanne, white rioja, white burgundy, and white pinot noir. 

Depending on how the salmon is prepared, type of sauce or side dishes being served, wine pairings with salmon may vary. Some of the options that generally pair well with salmon no matter how it is cooked include burgundy, champagne, pinot gris, riesling, sauvignon blanc, and savennieres.

There are many options of wine that go well with salmon, from crisp sauvignon blanc to juicy pinot noir and delicious champagnes. Moreover, the accompanying dishes also determine the accompanying wine. 

It is important to note that salmon is a luscious fish that can be paired well with lighter reds and the more affluent whites. Answered below are frequently asked questions that help you to get the best wine match for your salmon!

Do you drink white or red wine with salmon?

Salmon typically pairs well with both richer white wines and lighter red wines. 

White wine is a classic pairing with most seafood because it is lighter-bodied than red wine, thus does not overpower the salmon.

While it is a myth for red wine to be a bad match with fish, in general it is better to avoid bolder styles brimming with tannins. An absolute no is pairing a full-bodied red wine with salmon because it kills both the flavors of the wine and the fish. 

The apparent choice of wine to go with salmon is white wine, as a result most restaurants tend to serve salmon with chilled pinot noir. 

Does Cabernet Sauvignon go with salmon?

No, cabernet sauvignon does not go well with salmon because the full-bodied wine is rich with tannins that overpower the salmon flavor and texture.

Salmon has a bolder flavor and texture, therefore the type of red wine to accompany it matters. Cabernet Sauvignon does not complement well with salmon, but a light-bodied red wine will be significantly better. 

When it comes to alternated red wine option, pinot noir be the perfect fit for the fish. This wine has more acidity than most red wines, thus complement the fatty fish by cutting through its richness. 

The fruity, earthy notes of pinot noir work well with the salmon’s buttery and extra-savory flavor. 

Does Pinot Grigio go with salmon?

Yes, pinot grigio goes well with salmon. Pinot grigio is generally categorized as a full-bodied wine that could greatly overpower shellfish or white fish, but salmon is much richer than mild flavored fishes.

Pinot grigio pairs perfectly with salmon, especially with poached salmon and mayonnaise, smoked salmon and grilled salmon because it firmly holds up to the strongest fish flavors. 

This wine also goes well with different side dishes prepared with salmon. For instance, salmon with yogurt, or lemon-based sauces that pairs well with Oregon or Alsatian-style Pinot Grigio due to their refreshing citrus notes. 

Best wine to pair with salmon

Salmon can be identified as a darker-fleshed fish, which makes it excellent to pair with the lighter red wines, dry whites, rosés, and sparkling wines. 

The most classic way of pairing salmon is with pinot noir or red burgundy wine. These are the lighter-bodied and aromatic red wines that have floral flavors and dark fruits. 

Grenache is the best wine to accompany it for those planning to enjoy smoked or grilled salmon. 

However, the wine pairing ultimately depends on how the salmon is cooked and ingredients added. Here are the best wines to pair with salmon based on the different culinary techniques:

  • Butter sauce: sancerre
  • Chile rub: champagne, rosé
  • Citrus or tropical fruit sauce: white burgundy, California chardonnay
  • Coconut milk: chardonnay, buttery California 
  • Cream sauce: white burgundy, California chardonnay
  • Dill: sauvignon blanc
  • Fennel: rosé, especially dry
  • Grilled red onions: beaujolais
  • Hollandaise: white burgundy, especially Meursault chardonnay
  • Lemon sauce: chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, sparkling wine
  • Miso: no oak chardonnay
  • Raw or tartare: champagne, California sauvignon blanc, sparkling wine
  • Roe: champagne, sake, sparkling wine
  • Smoked: chablis, champagne, gewürztraminer, pinot grigio, riesling, sauvignon blanc, dry sherry, sparkling wine
Best wine for salmon

Wine With Salmon: Conclusion

When serving salmon for a special dinner date or party, the right wine choice will elevate the entire experience. Despite not having multiple hard and fast rules about the wine pairing, certain wines are better suited to salmon than others. 

Salmon is a fish, it pairs well with lighter red wines than the darker. Full bodied reds overpower the fish and accompanying side with aroma, flavor and tannins, stick with mild reds for much more success.

It can also be paired with sparkling, dry, or rose wines depending on how the salmon is prepared and what kind of sauce or ingredients are added.

Pinot grigio goes well with salmon. Furthermore, salmon pairs excellent with chardonnay, viognier, marsanne, rioja, burgundy, pinot noir, burgundy, champagne, pinot gris, riesling, sauvignon blanc, and savennieres.

Whether you are wine connoisseur or need help to find the best wine pairing for your salmon, use these flavor combination based on the dish to enjoy the meal every time. 

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