As you know, salmon is a versatile fish. There are infinite ways to cook salmon, depending on your preferences. The same goes when it comes to pairing your salmon dishes with wine. You again have countless options, ranging from reds to whites, to rosés, and even sparkling wines. So today, we’re talking about how to choose the right wine for your salmon dish. We’ll share a few general wine pairing rules to live by plus a couple examples of salmon dishes and wine pairings.
Keep in mind, this post is a general guide for salmon and wine pairing. We’re hoping you’ll feel totally empowered to choose the right wine when you’re eating salmon. That being said, true wine pairing is an art. So we always recommend asking the chef or even your butcher what kind of wine they recommend with the dish you’re preparing.
Let’s get into it.
Salmon And Wine Pairing Tips
When you’re choosing the right wine to pair with salmon, it’s really all about enhancing the flavors of this fish and dish. The wine you choose can pull out and enhance the flavors of the dish. The perfect wine pairing depends on how you prepare your salmon and the ingredients you’re using. For us, when thinking about salmon and wine pairings, we like to consider the cooking method, dominant seasonings, and accompanying sauces. Here are a few tips to choose the right wine for your dish:
Pairing Salmon With Red Wine:
When you think of red wine, you think of bold, strong, flavors. A great Cabernet, Malbec, or Bourdeau can make or break a great meal because the flavors are so strong. Generally, when you think of those wines, you think of more rich, heavy dinners. So in line with that, think of pairing red wine with salmon dishes that are more steak-like. Anything with salt, pepper, and herbs that feels more like a warm wholesome dinner.
So an oven-roasted salmon filet with rich vegetables and potatoes is a great example of a red wine pairing. Red wine in general is best for dinner entrees. The same goes for salmon entrees. In general, you wouldn’t want to pair red wine with a salmon dish meant for brunch or a light lunch. You can typically guess that red wine is going to pair better with dinner recipes. We recommend pairing a light but flavorful red wine with this Mediterranean inspired salmon recipe.
Pairing Salmon With White Wine
White wine is great for salmon entrees at dinner, but it’s more versatile than our red wine friends. You can totally pair white wines, especially if they’re more light and crisp, with salmon dishes meant for lunch and brunch. We opt for white wines when the fish is prepared more simply. So if you’re going for a straight-up steamed or boiled salmon and minimal ingredients, general rule of thumb is white wine can be your best bet. We love pairing white wine with our salmon and vegetables recipe and this baked salmon filet with niçoise salad. White wines also go great with salmon dishes prepared in any kind of cream sauce.
Pairing Salmon With Rosé
We love rosé for lighter, fresh, and delicate flavor salmon dishes. When you’re deciding whether to pair rosé with your salmon dish, you really can’t go wrong if there is more of a citrus flavor in your salmon dish. Think light and airy recipes. It could be something as simple as a lemon salmon salad, or something a bit more fancy like this Yuzu Salmon Salad. We also love pairing salmon and rosé for appetizers meant for brunch or events. For example, rosé would go great with these homemade salmon tostadas or this salmon belly ceviche. You also really can’t go wrong with anything for breakfast or brunch. So think smoked salmon, bagels and lox, salmon omelets, etc.
Pairing Salmon With Sparkling Wine
Similar to rosé, as a rule of thumb, you want to pair sparkling wines for more light-hearted salmon dishes. A little bit of bubbly can bring out the flavors of a more airy dish. So it’s great to pair sparkling wine with smaller bite style dishes, or dishes where the flavors are more aromatic. For example, we would recommend pairing sparkling wine with this mango salmon tartare or this passionfruit salmon carpaccio. Sparkling wine will really encourage the flavors to explode and fill your mouth. You can also totally pair sparkling wine with salmon dinner recipes that have a light touch to them. Think something as simple as steamed salmon with lemon, parsley, & dill.
How do you pair salmon with wine?
What are your favorite salmon and wine pairings? We would love to know. If there is a specific rule of thumb you live by or certain flavors you like for certain wines definitely let us know. Alright, we’re off to enjoy some salmon and wine as we speak! Cheers everyone!