What Red Wine Goes With Salmon

In the realm of food and wine pairing, the general rule is to match the intensity and nuances of the wine to the meal it accompanies. Although white wines, like Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio, are …

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In the realm of food and wine pairing, the general rule is to match the intensity and nuances of the wine to the meal it accompanies. Although white wines, like Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio, are traditionally paired with salmon, certain red wines exist that can actually elevate the flavor of this delicate and flavorful fish.

One of my personal favorite red wines to pair with salmon is Pinot Noir. Its light to medium-bodied profile and vibrant acidity make it an excellent match for the richness of salmon. The red fruit flavors and subtle earthiness of Pinot Noir beautifully enhance the flavors of the fish without overpowering it.

Another red wine that pairs surprisingly well with salmon is Grenache. Known for its red fruit flavors and gentle tannins, Grenache complements the natural flavors of the fish without overwhelming it. The bright acidity of Grenache also helps to cut through the richness of the salmon, creating a harmonious balance.

For those who prefer a bolder red wine, Syrah or Shiraz can be an excellent choice. The bold fruit flavors, spicy notes, and firm tannins of these varieties can stand up to the robust flavors of grilled or smoked salmon. The smoky and savory characteristics of the wine can add a delightful complexity to the dish.

When selecting a red wine to pair with salmon, it’s important to consider the cooking method and seasonings used. For grilled or roasted salmon with herbs, a lighter-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir or Grenache works well. However, if you’re serving salmon that’s been marinated or topped with bolder flavors like teriyaki or soy sauce, a more robust red wine like Syrah or Shiraz can be a better match.

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Keep in mind that personal taste preferences play a significant role in wine pairing. While these red wines can be excellent choices for pairing with salmon, it’s always a good idea to experiment and find the combination that suits your palate. Remember, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to wine pairing – it’s all about discovering what you enjoy.

In conclusion, while white wines may be the traditional choice for pairing with salmon, don’t be afraid to venture into the world of red wines. Pinot Noir, Grenache, and Syrah/Shiraz can all be fantastic options, each bringing its own unique characteristics to the table. So go ahead, experiment, and find your perfect red wine match for salmon!

John has been a hobbyist winemaker for several years, with a few friends who are winery owners. He writes mostly about winemaking topics for newer home vintners.
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