salmon and wine

What Wine Goes With Salmon: 7 Tasty Pairings

Sep 10, 2022 | Pairing Guides

Do you often wonder what wine goes with salmon? Salmon has always been in the spotlight of fine dining menus. The best quality wines have historically been paired with this fatty fish because it creates a delicate balance between the two. Here’s a friendly guide to what kinds of wine you can pair with salmon. As a rule of thumb, according to sommeliers, salmon is a fatty fish that goes well with full-bodied white wines like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Rosé, and Sauvignon Blanc.

Salmon is a classic choice for fine dining fish entrées. It is pink, fatty, and delicious. Salmon is relished all over the world from Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Oceania to Africa; prepared in many different ways. It is a delicious and versatile fish.

Now, the world’s most celebrated fish can’t stay on the table without the best wines.

As a rule of thumb, according to sommeliers, salmon is a fatty fish that goes well with full-bodied white wines like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Rosé, and Sauvignon Blanc

However, the way the salmon was prepared depends on what kind of wines actually go well with it. Sometimes red wines with low-tannin, low-bodied and rosé go well with salmon.

Here’s a list of wines that go well with salmon.


1. Pinot Noir

If you’re looking at a classic pan-seared slab of salmon on a bed of greens and beurre blanc sauce, Pinot Noir is the obvious choice to pair this entrée with.

Pinot Noir perfectly carries out the flavor and richness of the salmon. You might be wondering why Pinot Noir is on the list to begin with. It’s supposed to be red.

Well, one of the most classic pairings for salmon is Pinot Noir or Red Burgundy wine. They are red wines that are lighter-bodied and aromatic with fruit and floral notes that pick up the wonderful flavors of wild Pacific salmon.


2. Chardonnay

Chardonnay is a classic wine to pair with rich fish and seafood like lobster, salmon or crab. Chardonnay has a fruity and floral aroma and flavor that conveys the delicate flavors of seafood.

Chardonnay could be crisp, clean or oaky depending on how it was made but the best kind of Chardonnay for salmon would be oak-aged.

Alsace Riesling

3. Riesling

If you have prepared a delicious entrée of teriyaki salmon or some form of spiced-Miso salmon or any Asian sweet-spicy style of salmon, Riesling is the best wine to pair with this.

Riesling has a citrus lime flavor that balances the flavor of rich salmon.

Pinot Gris

4. Pinot Gris

Cousin to the Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris has an opulent texture and elusive aroma.

Many debates that although Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are the two most popular wine pairings for salmon, they don’t necessarily enhance the flavor of the salmon. Some argue that these two types of wine even overpower the flavor of salmon or any food that it is actually paired with.

Pinot Gris is like the new world Chardonnay. Sommeliers have learned that this type of wine with notes of peach, pears and citrus, enhances the flesh of the salmon. This is arguably the best wine to pair with salmon.

Sauvignon Blanc

5. Sauvignon Blanc

If you’ve prepared or you’re craving classic roasted salmon with an herby citrus sauce, Sauvignon Blanc is your best option.

Sauvignon Blanc is one of the two most sought-after white wines that pair really well with fish. Sauvignon Blanc is refreshing and a tad bit acidic. Its flavors pick out the citrus flavors in your salmon dish.


6. Rosé

Got your lox and bagel ready or that Christmas spread of smoked salmon with capers, pickled onion and crackers?

Rosé is the best wine to pair with smoked or cured salmon. An intensely flavored salmon can’t be served without wine. Rosé’s acidity and burst of flavors accompany the deep flavor of salmon.


7. Champagne

If you’re having ceviche, sashimi, tartare or carpaccio, Champagne is the wine that goes best with those kinds of preparations. The texture and flavor of Champagne, with bubbles and crispy fruity notes, bring out the delicate flavors and natural sweetness of the salmon.


Hey there! I'm Isabel. I love cooking, dogs, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good flavorful food, to share with family and friends.



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