Whether you’re entertaining guests, or just looking for a quick and easy dinner idea, salmon is the perfect addition to any meal. One of the most popular ways to enjoy this fish is with wine; however, choosing which one can be tricky. In today’s post we’ll cover some tips on your favorite wine pairing with salmon for an unforgettable meal!
WHAT WINES TO PAIR WITH SALMON AND WHY
Salmon is a fatty fish that can overwhelm the taste of wine. Pairing wines with salmon should be done carefully to avoid overpowering the delicate flavors. The best way to do this is by contrasting the wine with saltier foods such as bacon or olives, and lighter dishes like salads and vegetables. If you want something more robust try pairing it with reds that have tannins, umami, pepper, or leather notes.
Salmon pairs well with many wines. It’s a very versatile fish and includes varieties that are smoked, poached, baked or grilled, making it easy to pair with various varietals. Since salmon typically has a strong flavor of its own as well as being rich and buttery in texture, it usually takes well to white wine tastes better than reds.
The pairing of salmon dishes with different wines creates an enormous palette for creativity in the kitchen. But remember that texture is just as important as taste when creating your recipes so make sure you do enough research into which wines pair well with each other!
The type of wine pairing with salmon you choose is up to your personal taste preferences and the style of salmon dish you choose. If you’re looking for something light and fruity, look for Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, if you’re after something more full-bodied for dinner guests then consider Chardonnay. For richer dishes like those served over creamy risotto, a dry white like Chardonnay, Sancerre or Sauvignon Blanc can be the perfect match.
Other lighter wines include Muscadet and other unoaked whites such as Riesling and Pinot Grigio. In terms of reds, Pinot Noir works well with both smoked and poached salmon. For an Asian-inspired dish try pairing Salmon with Gewurztraminer or even sake if you’re adventurous!
Some additional pairings worth trying are Champagne/Sparkling Wine, Cider (especially sweeter), Chenin Blanc, Grenache Blanc (when served chilled), lager beer (light beers would work best), Pinot Bianco/Grigio (when served cold), Riesling (especially sweet wines such as Spatlese or Auslese), Sauvignon Blanc, Soave, Tocai Friulano, white Bordeaux and Sauvignon Blanc.
If you are going to grill salmon, try pairing a richly flavored Pinot Noir with it. The smoky flavor of the wine will enhance the grilled taste of the fish. If you are serving poached salmon, pair it with fruity whites like Gewurztraminer.
A dry Chenin Blanc is also excellent with poached salmon because of its spicy notes and acidity that enhances both the taste and texture fish dishes. A light bodied Pinot Noir is a good choice for baked salmon because it’s not as heavy and overpowering as richer reds.
Salmon can be moist, flaky or oily and nothing balances these traits like Gewurztraminer or a Riesling. A dry wine from Alsace, France will pair perfectly with the flavor of the fish without overpowering even though some dark, fruity notes may be present in the dish itself!
TIPS ON HOW TO SELECT WINES FOR A DINNER PARTY OR OTHER EVENT WHERE YOU ARE SERVING THIS DISH
1. Experience Multiple Types
Whole Foods Market and other upscale markets often include wine tastings on select days where you can taste various wines from a particular region or country. This is a great way to start experimenting with new wines without buying an entire bottle! When tasting wine, the “sipping order” recommended by experts means that lighter bodied wines are tested first so your taste buds don’t become overwhelmed.
After tasting white wines move on to reds then sweet wines. It’s also important not to immediately chug the rest of what was in your glass – swirl it around instead to release more flavor notes as well as oxygenating the wine for better results. A small breath taken before sipping will make all the difference in terms of enhancing your palate’s ability to taste.
2. Take Your Time
When matching flavors, it’s important to take your time and consult many different resources before deciding what will pair well together. You would hate to serve a Pinot Noir with the fish only for it not to work successfully because you had overlooked a few critical factors in the pairing process. Most importantly make sure that both wines are dry (no sweetness), rather than sweet or sweeter wines which generally do not pair well with salmon dishes.
3. Each Type of Salmon for Each Type of Wine
Chef Berkowitz’s salmon dish is poached in white wine flavored with lemongrass and ginger. This is our ideal pairing as the two main flavors of the fish are accentuated by these subtle hints without overpowering it. If you’re looking to serve an Asian-inspired dish such as this one, consider a dry Riesling that will compliment both the taste and texture of the salmon and produce a delicious combination of flavors!
Salmon can pair wonderfully with many wines from all around the world. It’s exceptionally versatile in terms of ingredients used in cooking paired with accompaniments like breads or risotto so there’s lots more options available to your than simply roasting or blackening it on some cedar planks.
When considering which kind of wine to serve with salmon recipes, think about both the wine and food individually. This will ensure you’re making appropriate choices when deciding which types of wines go well with which types of salmon dishes. For example, it’s important to distinguish between the different flavors of salmon – smoked vs. lox, for instance – in order to make a proper pairing.
4. Follow The Flavor
The first step is choosing either red or white wine when making a dish with salmon as an ingredient. White wines like Chardonnay are more acidic than other options so they tend to pair well with lighter fish that doesn’t have any strong flavors such as farmed Atlantic Salmon, which may not be as wild and fresh tasting compared to Coho or Sockeye varieties harvested from pristine waters off the coast of Alaska!
While many people prefer their salmon cooked on cedar planks (which lets them infuse smoky woods into the dish and is a great presentation on the plate) other people prefer to serve charred salmon where it’s fresh and simply seasoned with salt. Since both of these cooking methods are rather simple, it’s important to choose your wine pairing with salmon wisely in order to make sure that you’re serving a properly balanced dish.
Pinot Noir is often considered the best option for dishes which are accompanied by sauces like beurre blanc or demi-glace but if this isn’t an issue, consider lighter reds served at room temperature such as a Rosé. This will let its fruity characteristics shine while letting subtle hints of rose petal come through too!
If you do decide to go with Pinot Noir, keep in mind that it pairs well with vegetables such as asparagus and spinach so consider adding some sautéed veggies to your dish!
While salmon is a very popular fish in North America, it’s also quite common around the world. In fact, some native Alaskan groups have been harvesting wild salmon for thousands of years. The best way to make the most out of these different flavors is by pairing each type with its ideal wines.
5. For example:
Sockeye Salmon – paired with dry wines that are light-bodied while using a higher acidity such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio.
Chinook Salmon (King) – pairs well with Riesling or a lighter red wine such as Pinot Noir.
Coho Salmon – great with Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc; and
Pink Salmon (Humpback) – goes really well with dry Rosés or light red wines such as Gamay.
If you’re looking for a recipe that uses salmon, consider how the flavors will interact when pairing wine! There’s more to it than simply choosing your favorite fish and picking out a bottle of Pinot Noir. This is especially important if you want to impress dinner guests so take care when making these decisions since they can have a huge impact on the quality of your meal. Determining what types of salmon dishes fit with your favorite wines is just one of the many cooking skills that you’ll find out about when you enroll in one of our wine courses online.
RECIPES FOR SALMON DISHES THAT WOULD GO WELL WITH A CERTAIN TYPE OF WINE
1. Oven Roasted Salmon Recipe
Tender fresh Atlantic salmon filets are oven roasted until they’re flaky and delicious! This easy oven baked salmon recipe is quick enough for a weeknight meal yet impressive enough to serve to dinner guests.
Ingredients (Serves 4):
- 4 6 oz pieces of skinless Atlantic Salmon fillets Salt
- 1 sprig fresh Rosemary
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Rinse and pat dry the salmon filets before seasoning them with salt and pepper on both sides. Place them skin side down onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Add a sprig of rosemary to each fillet along with half a lemon wedge (or as many as you have per fillet) then drizzle over it 1 tbsp of olive oil per salmon fillet.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until hot all the way through and flaky when tested with a fork or toothpick!
Recipe Notes: Be careful not to overcook the salmon which will make it dry (flaking but no juice inside). If you find this happening, cover the fillets with aluminium foil to prevent it from continuing to cook and drying out.
Also be sure to use fresh rosemary as this will make a huge difference in the overall taste of your salmon dish.
2. Creamy Cilantro Lime Grilled Salmon with Cucumber Avocado Salad Recipe
Grilling salmon is an easy way to get dinner on the table fast! This spin on cilantro lime grilled salmon blends creamy avocado salad with cool cucumbers and lots of bright flavors for a light dinner that you’re sure to enjoy all summer long!
Ingredients (Serves 4):
For The Salmon:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Four 6 oz pieces of skinless salmon fillets
For The Salad:
- 1 large English cucumber, halved and sliced
- 1 ripe avocado, pitted and diced
- zest of two limes juice from half a lime
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves salt and pepper to taste
Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl then set aside. Heat up your grill pan while you’re prepping the salmon.
Brush olive oil over both sides of each salmon filet before seasoning them with sea salt and black pepper on both sides. Cook for 5 minutes per side or until flaky when tested with a fork or toothpick. Serve with creamy avocado salad!
Recipe Notes: You can also make this recipe indoors by using oven-safe cooking utensils and cooking the salmon in an oven preheated to 400 F.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS TO DRINKING WINE WITH SALMON?
Salmon and many other types of fish are high in protein which means they’re very filling. They’re also a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids which have been shown to lower your risk of heart disease by reducing triglycerides in the bloodstream. Salmon is a great way to get Omega-3s into your diet, but you’ll find this benefit only comes when you eat the entire portion (including the skin) since these healthy fats are stored within the meat.
As we’ve discussed in past articles, salmon has more fat content than many other types of fish, so it pairs perfectly with wines that are high in acidity like Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling or Pinot Gris. These wines will be able to cut through the rich flavor of salmon and still keep the fish’s fat content in check.
I hope you’ll enjoy this oven baked salmon recipe as much as I do! Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog by entering your email at the bottom of this page so you never miss a post. And be sure to follow me on Facebook where I share even more recipes, wine pairings and cooking tips!
TIPS ON WHAT WINES GO WELL WITH OTHER TYPES OF SEAFOOD
Clams – Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris
Mussels – Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc
Scallops – Albarino, Chardonnay
Shrimp – Rosé, sparkling wines (not technically a wine but it will work!), Chenin Blanc and Semillon (best with grilled shrimp)
Calamari or squid – Rosé or white wine that is light in body such as Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris (pictured is one of my favorite seafood pairings: oven roasted calamari sprinkled with lemon zest over a creamy risotto)
Stay tuned for next week’s blog more benefits to drinking wine!
BOTTOM LINE FOR TODAY DISCUSSION
With so many wines and foods to choose from, it can be hard to know what will work best. If you want the perfect pairing for your next dinner party, consider taking a look at this list of wine pairings with salmon as a starting point! We hope that these suggestions help make choosing easier in the future. As always, we’re happy to provide any assistance if needed. Let us know how we can help!