Planning for a salmon meal tonight? But the dinner would be absolutely incomplete without a lovely wine. Wine, if wrongly paired, can be held responsible for spoiling your evening. Tastessence guides you with 6 best wines to be paired with a variety of salmon recipes.
Rule 1: Red wine pairs best with meat, and white wine accompanies fish and poultry really well.
Rule 2: Dismiss Rule One.
Such norms are no doubt helpful, but they are only a derivation of people’s own experiences. It’s time to outdo that by experiencing your own “wow” moment.
Usually, wine-food pairings go with the technique of either pairing contrasting flavors together, or complementing the flavors. As a rule of thumb, white meat (fish and poultry) goes best with white wine, and red meat (beef and richer dishes) goes with red wine. But when it comes to salmon, things differ a bit. Salmon is heavier than white fish, and hence, it doesn’t fall under white meat. It is lighter than red meat. Salmon steaks, patties, or filets project a nice pink color. And if we talk of salmon’s flavor, it has a very strong flavor, which can overpower other flavors easily. Therefore, a light-bodied wine won’t work here.
Salmon has a versatile personality; it can be baked, soaked, grilled, blackened, or poached. It is also important to consider the side dishes, ingredients of the main meal, and sauces dished with salmon, before pairing it with a wine.
Grouping salmon with a perfect wine will enhance the meal from good to best. But having salmon with a wrong wine can ruin the entire dinner. So let’s have a keen look at the best wines to be paired with salmon, its burgers, and steaks.
Pinot Noir is a red wine with moderately low tannin content. Its light red, fruity flavor serves as a perfect counterpart to salmon’s strong flavor. Sineann family of Pinot Noirs can be taken with grilled salmon. Choose the one that is somewhat fruity and not too dry.
Flavor Profile: Earthy flavor, imparts a rich taste
Best Paired With: Salmon teriyaki, Blackened salmon
Coupling Suggestions: Hirsch Vineyards Pinot Noir ~ Grilled Salmon with light tomato sauce, asparagus, and capers on the side.
Hands down. Unoaked Chardonnay totally wins it all. Despite being one of the most popular wines and the best-selling wine of US, it is actually tedious to pair it with food. But it holds a high place when it comes to wine pairings with salmon. This white wine amazingly complements with buttery, creamy salmons.
Flavor Profile: Citrus fruit flavors, imparts buttery characteristics
Best Paired With: Salmon en croute, Salmon potpie, Salmon fishcakes
Coupling Suggestions: Good quality, oak-aged Chardonnay ~ Salmon with a hollandaise or beurre blanc sauce.
Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio
Pinot Gris is also known as Pinot Grigio in Italy. Its spicy full-bodied wine, Alsatian style, is most apt for salmon. Most seafood blend well with this white wine. Pinot Grigio has a mildly floral aroma, with pear and peach flavors, giving a citrus taste. Owing to its somewhat oily texture, it can even hold strong against oily salmon.
Flavor Profile: Refreshing citrus flavor
Best Paired With: Poached salmon with mayonnaise
Coupling Suggestions: Salmon with yogurt, or minced in lemon-based sauces is best coupled with Oregon or Alsatian-style Pinot Gris.
This is a dry white wine with a slightly acidic flavor and aggressive smell. It is dosed with herbs like dill, and produces citrus flavor tones. Choose the one that isn’t too fruity.
Flavor Profile: Grassy to melon or tropical fruit flavors
Best Paired With: Baked salmon rolls
Coupling Suggestions: Loire Valley Sancerre’s herbaceous qualities suit best with salmon cooked with herbs.
It can be called a close cousin of red wine. It is pinkish in color. The vigor, color, and fizz of this wine matches with that of salmon. Its acidity can endure even the oily, fleshy fish. Its amazing red wine-like flavors incorporate a balance of flavors and acidity with salmon.
Flavor Profile: Sweet, cherry-raspberry flavor
Best Paired With: Grilled, smoked, poached salmons
Coupling Suggestions: (i) Bourgogne ~ tender grilled salmon; (ii) Raw salmon such as salmon sashimi or tartare with sparkling rosé wine.
Riesling is a crisp, highly acidic, white grape variety wine. It has a lower alcohol content. So, if you’re thinking of having spiced salmon, Riesling is the best fit that goes without searing your taste buds. White Riesling, or popularly called Johannisberg Riesling, harmonizes with the salmon palate.
Flavor Profile: Spicy flavor, fruity and aromatic wine
Best Paired With: Tandoori salmon
Coupling Suggestions: Salmon made with Indian spices complement very well with this wine’s acidic flavor.
Zinfandel, Beaujolais, and Grenache are some more options to try with salmon. All we would say is, experiment and try different wines; who knows, you might find a better pairing.