You’re probably familiar with the basic pairings of red meat with red wine, and white fish with white wine. However with the wide range of red meats, huge selection of fish, and number of ways that you can prepare each, wine pairings aren’t as black and white as you’d think. When it comes to wine selection, one particular fish that people tend to struggle with most is salmon. It’s not as light and mild as a white fish like cod, but not quite as meaty as a swordfish, and there are so many ways you can cook it that really affect the flavor profile. So how do you pick what wine goes best with salmon?
A good rule of thumb is that delicious, rich, oily fish like salmon usually pairs best with a buttery, full-bodied white wine like a Chardonnay. Other white wines that go well include Vigonier, White Burgundy, and Sauvignon Blanc to name a few.
It’s All About The Preparation
Depending on how you’re enjoying your salmon, you may want to sip on a light white, a smooth red, or a dry rosé. Here are some of our recommendations for what you should open based on how you are cooking or ordering your salmon.
Smoked Salmon- a great brunch or lunch option, smoked salmon has an intense flavor that begs to be paired with something crisp and refreshing to compliment the bold, smoky notes. We recommend a sparkling rosé which also happens to be a great choice for brunch!
Teriyaki Salmon- an oven-baked or cedar plank salmon with a sweet soy or teriyaki glaze goes great with an off-dry wine like our Monterey County Reserve Riesling.
Salmon with Cream Sauce- one of the most common ways you’ll find salmon cooked at a restaurant is roasted and topped with a creamy, lemon or herbal sauce like a bearnaise. For this classic preparation, we suggest trying a medium-bodied white with a lingering oak finish like our Carneros Reserve Chardonnay.
Crispy Skin Salmon- if you like your salmon to be crisp and flaky, then a pan-seared salmon is just for you! For this preparation, you can go with something like a dry rosé, or a light, low-tannin red like a pinot noir.
Our Best Tip of All
When it comes to wine pairings, we have one big secret we are dying to share. If you’re eating a dish and enjoy the way your wine tastes with it, that’s all that matters! As long as you are having a great meal with great company, the wine you’re drinking will fall into place. While there are plenty of ways to maximize your tasting experience, the number one thing to remember is that if you’re enjoying it, keep drinking it!
The ONEHOPE Wine Team