Which Salmon Wine? Full-bodied white wines – In general, fatty fish like salmon go well with full-bodied white wines like oak-aged Chardonnay, Viognier, Marsanne, White Rioja, White Burgundy and White Pinot Noir. However, depending on how it is prepared and the sauce, salmon can also be paired with rosé or light red wines. First, we will discuss the nature of pairing wine directly with a very simple salmon, and then we will suggest several pairing options depending on the sauce and method of preparation. To work!
Plain slow-cooked salmon is quite soft and tender. The more steak-like version may be a bit more floury and flaky, but in most cases, if prepared properly, expect the grains to be softer and somewhat meatier. Here is a good example of how to prepare salmon. Pair plain and simple salmon with an oak-aged or time-aged white wine, something with stronger notes of Meyer lemon, nuts or brulée to add spice and texture to the fish. On the richer side, try Sonoma Coast or Central Coast Chardonnay from California, Viognier from Paso Robles, Rioja from Spain, oak aged Trebbiano/Chardonnay from Sicily or Australian Chardonnay from Victoria (perhaps Mornington Peninsula) or Sémillon from Hunter Valley.
These wines will be equal in richness and will blend with the salmon to create a fuller overall flavor. If you are looking for a more delicate pairing with more subtle green herbal notes in a wine, Vermentino from Sardinia, Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley or Chardonnay (Mâconnais) from Burgundy are good choices. These wines contrast with the richness of the salmon and act rather as palate cleansers.
Salmon with red wine
Some red wines can be paired with rich, fatty fish like salmon. Here’s the trick: find a red wine that is low in tannin so that the combination doesn’t have a metallic aftertaste. A few examples are Valpolicella blend (a blend of mainly Corvina grapes), Gamay (called Beaujolais in France), Prieto Picudo (from Spain) and Lambrusco (a red wine from Italy). A very classic way to prepare salmon is perfectly fried or baked salmon with something creamy, lemony and herbaceous. These sauces include: béarnaise, lemon and dill sauce, yoghurt sauce with dill and cucumber or creamy horseradish and caper sauce. Try: Chardonnay aged in oak, Australian Sémillon.
Salmon with crispy skin
This way of cooking salmon really shows its tenderness and steak-like texture. This method involves wiping the skin dry and then frying the salmon, skin side down, in a hot pan with vegetable oil. In this way, the salmon becomes meaty and acquires the perfect flake texture. Smoked salmon is usually served on toast (can be with avocado) or with bagels, cream cheese and salty capers. The trick in this preparation is a wine with enough acidity and a strong flavor to complement the salty, fishy notes. It tastes best with a strong rose or sparkling wine.
Glazed Salmon (Teriyaki)
There are many different variations of this style, but the theme that ties them all together is the use of sweetness (whether it’s brown sugar, pineapple juice, agave, or honey) to give the outside a garlicky-sweet glaze. The result is a rich, tender salmon with a hint of sweetness in the meat. A few recipes we liked were spicy teriyaki and ginger soy glaze. For this combination, use Lambrusco wine.
Sushi with salmon
Salmon sushi has a higher acidity than other salmon dishes, thanks to the vinegar flowing through the rice. Choose a clean, crisp white wine to complement this pairing. Gruner Veltliner or Sauvignon Blanc – especially Sancerre – are good choices, and a dry rosé will also work well.
Different flavors of salmon
If you’re adding bold, savory flavors to salmon, a wine with a little sweetness goes well with it. Viognier pairs well with spicy salmon. Full-bodied and aromatic, it is bold enough to cope with large flavors, and its delicate fruitiness beautifully highlights the spicy spices. Sauvignon blanc is the wine of choice for many salmon dishes, and it goes particularly well when the fish is seasoned with fresh herbs and lemon. With bright hints of herbs and citrus, the crisp, acidic Sauvignon Blanc is a good, consistent pairing and will really bring out those flavors in your salmon dish.
Does red wine go well with salmon?
Many people think of fish as a white meat that can only be paired with white wine, but as we’ve seen, there are some really great pairings of red wine with salmon. Farmed Atlantic salmon tends to be fattier than wild-caught, which pairs well with the stronger flavors of red wine. In general, the heartier and more steaky a salmon dish, the better it pairs with red wine. When it comes to wine selection, red wines with a fuller flavor work best. Salmon is richer than most other types of fish, but it’s still white meat and strong, full-bodied red wines could overshadow the dish. For the same reason, wines with a high tannin content should be avoided.