What Wine Goes With Salmon?

What Wine Goes With Salmon?

Regarded as the "Chicken of the Sea," Salmon is the second place for the world's most popular protein, Chicken.

This meaty pink fish has a subtle and refreshing taste. It's a default for diners who want something simple and less complicated.

Salmon is, in many ways, an ingredient used in different ways.

With that said, Salmon is matched with other wines as well. It's a rich-tasting fish served with butter or cream.

Medium to Full-bodied wines is a natural candidate for Salmon and wine pairing. A famous example that goes with Salmon is Chardonnay.

Salmon is served grilled or raw, which opens doors to many kinds of wine pairings.

We made a guide on how to choose the best wine pairings for your next Salmon dish.

What Wine Goes with Salmon?

Typically, we associate red wines with beef, while white wines are great for fish and Chicken. It's a simple rule that doesn't require a second thought.

While this is true, choosing the best wine pairing for Salmon can be tricky. Many factors are involved in choosing Wine, such as sauces, side dishes, and the main dish varieties. The main concept is to balance the flavor of Salmon and Wine. It allows a taste that doesn't overpower with each other. It also creates a pleasant experience for the palate.

One of the first things to consider when choosing Wine is how the Salmon is prepared. We'll start first with how to Pair Wine with a basic Salmon dish.

A common preparation for Salmon is plain slow-roasted that results in delicate and soft fish meat. This plain and simple preparation of Salmon is best paired with a time-aged wine or -oak-aged Wine.

Choose something that has nut or Meyer lemon notes in the Wine so that it will spice up and texture the fish. If you want something richer and bolder taste, choose Central Coast Chardonnay, Aged white Rioja, Viognier from Paso Robles or Oak-aged

Trebbiano/Chardonnay from Sicily.

These wines will balance the taste in richness and will create an overall wholesome taste. For a more delicate pairing, you can choose wines that have subtle green herbal notes.

These wines include Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley, Vermentino from Sardegna, or Chardonnay from Burgundy. It can contrast the richness of the fish and will act as a cleanser for the palate.

Different Salmon Preparations and What Wine Pairs Well

Crispy Skin Salmon with Wine

This preparation has the flakiness of Salmon with a steak-like texture. The skin is made dry and is then the fish prepared on a hot skillet with olive oil or vegetable oil. It results in a flaky texture but meaty taste.

You want to try wines such as Carignan, Garnacha, Lambrusco, and Valpolicella blend. These wines complement the savoury tones and richness of the Salmon.

Salmon Stew with Wine

Considered one of Salmon's best and easiest preparations, this originated in Brazil and gave a delicious savoury taste.

The main ingredients of this delicious dish include lime juice, cilantro, tomatoes, and coconut milk.

It's comfort food that anyone will enjoy. You'd usually want Chardonnay for stews, but you can also try aromatic white wines like Herbal Gruner Veltliner and Riesling.

Some good wine pairings include Sercial Madeira, Orange Wine, which is great because of its nutty flavors, and Dry Sherry.

Glazed Salmon with Wine

Glazed Salmon is usually prepared with sweet sauces. A common variety of this dish is Teriyaki Glazed Salmon.

You can expect the Salmon to be steak-like with a hint of sweetness. Great wines for this Salmon preparation include Dry Riesling, Lambrusco, Bolder Rose Wines, White Pinot Noir, and Torrontes.

Roasted Salmon with Wine

A classic Salmon Preparation that's delicious and best paired with Wine. This dish is perfectly roasted and then topped with something lemony, herbal, or creamy.

A variety of sauces can be made for this dish, such as lemon dill cream, bearnaise, yogurt sauce, and creamy horseradish. Try wines such as Oak-aged Chardonnay, Trebbiano, Australian Semillon, Oak-aged Vermentino, and Sauvignon Blanc.

Smoked Salmon with Wine

Smoked Salmon was once considered a luxury product but is now a common sight in supermarkets and dinner tables.

These give off smoky flavors and subtle textures. Pick a wine with high acidity and fruity flavors, so it complements the fish's salty and savoury taste. Usually, sparkling or bold rose wines are great with this dish.

Raw Salmon with Wine

Raw Salmon has a natural sweetness and delicacy to it. A common pairing for raw Salmon is white wines and champagnes.

The textures of both complement each other with the Wine's smoothness and the flakiness of the fish.

You would want a crisp fruit flavor with a soft and round flavor for the Wine. Pair your raw Salmon with Riesling, Chablis, and Gruner Veltliner for a delicious fresh salmon experience.

Oven-Baked Salmon

Baked Salmon gives off a rich and smoky flavor that works well with light-bodied red wines. Light-bodied red wines such as Sangiovese, Beaujolais, and Pinot Noir are a perfect pair for this preparation.

Oven-baked Salmon is also great with dry Rose, Bold Pinot Gris, and a rounded, warm Chardonnay. Riesling is also a great pairing as it complements the smoky taste of the fish.

Grilled Salmon

Grilled Salmon has smoky flavors, and the wines that usually go with this pairing are often lightly oaked. Fruity Rose wine, with its fruity flavor, is excellent not only for grilled Salmon but also for other grilled dishes.

If you like tacos, Fruity Rose wine is great with Salmon Grilled tacos. It's also great with Salmon that includes olives or tomatoes. Pinot Noir's spice and fruity flavor also work well with grilled Salmon.

Pinot Gris, which grows in Oregon, is a popular pairing for Salmon. Salmon is also a big hit in the Pacific Northwest, so you cannot go wrong with this pairing.

The creamy texture of Pinot Gris complements the flakiness of the grilled Salmon, offering a delicious Salmon and Wine combination.

Kinds of Wine that Goes Well with Salmon

Burgundy or Pinot Noir with Salmon

A classic pairing for Salmon, these two examples are a staple when you want to drink Wine with Salmon.

Burgundy and Pinot Noir are light-bodied, aromatic red wines that complement bold flavors. It's fruity flavors and aroma perfectly complements its rich taste. Copper river salmons and Wild pacific Salmon usually does well with this wine pairing.

Delicately flavored salmons such as Farmed or Atlantic Salmon are best paired with a Rose of Pinot Noir, which has light flavors to complement the fish's taste.

Chardonnay or White Burgundy with Salmon

Chardonnay with Salmon is a common pairing. This Wine is often associated with rich-tasting fishes and shellfish. An Oaked-Chardonnay is delicious when paired with Salmon with a creamy, buttery sauce. White Burgundy has vibrant flavors that balance the delicate flavor of Salmon.

Beaujolais with Salmon

This Wine has moderate to high acidity levels with fruity and earthy flavors. Beaujolais has low tannins, which prevents the Wine from overpowering the savory taste of Salmon. This wine pairs well with Salmon that is served with fruit sauces and oven-baked Salmon.

Grenache with Salmon

A perfect pair for your grilled or smoked Salmon, Grenache perfectly complements the flavor of this Salmon preparation.

Grenache is a medium-bodied wine that has smoky and earthy flavors. It complements the smoky flavor of the Salmon and does not overpower it.

Grenache's medium tannin and acidity levels cut through the fattiness of the Salmon. Grenache provides a well-balanced taste that provides a great tasting experience for the palate.

Torrontes with Salmon

With its fruity flavors and medium acidity levels, this white Wine from Argentina pairs perfectly with Salmon. Fresh Salmon and some spicy preparations work well with Torrontes. Torrontes and its medium acidity level and fruity flavors balance the Salmon's spices, bringing out the best flavors of both Wine and fish.

Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is a crisp wine that comes from New Zealand. Pair this Wine with Salmons that are prepared with herbs. This Wine has high acidity and an earthy flavor that balances the Salmon's savory taste and complements the herbs used in the dish.


A popular kind of Champagne that pairs well with Salmon is French Champagne. It's combined with Chardonnay's silky Pinot Noir, fruity flavor, and the aromatic Pinot Meunier. French Champagne boasts a bold flavor the perfectly balances the savory and fattiness of the Salmon.

Rose Wine with Salmon

Rose wines are a no-brainer when it comes to Salmon and wine pairings. This Wine is a combination of mineral character, red fruits, and acidity that creates a balanced flavor with the Salmon.

Rose wine is a popular pairing for Salmon because it provides the strength of both white and red wine profiles. 

Add some bubbles in sparkling Wine or brut rose champagne for an elegant wine and salmon experience. The acidity of the rose wine cuts through the fattiness of the Salmon.

The fruity flavor and right amount of sharpness of this Wine are great for a wide variety of Salmon and Wine pairings preferences.

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Karl Kahale & The Underground Wine Merchants Team

  • September 30, 2020
  • Blog