What Wine Goes Good With Salmon

When deciding on the perfect wine to accompany salmon, it’s important to consider a few key factors: the method of cooking, the flavor profile of the dish, and personal taste preferences. As an enthusiast of …

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When deciding on the perfect wine to accompany salmon, it’s important to consider a few key factors: the method of cooking, the flavor profile of the dish, and personal taste preferences. As an enthusiast of both wine and seafood, I’ve dedicated a significant amount of time to testing out different wines to find the perfect match for this delectable fish.

The Cooking Method Matters

The first thing to consider is how the salmon is cooked. Grilled or roasted salmon tends to have a slightly smoky flavor, which pairs well with wines that have some oak influence. Chardonnay, particularly those from California’s Sonoma Coast or Burgundy in France, with their creamy texture and notes of vanilla and toast, complement this preparation method beautifully.

If you prefer to poach or steam your salmon, the flavors are more delicate, and you’ll want to avoid wines that overpower the fish. A crisp and vibrant white wine, like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, can provide a refreshing contrast to the salmon’s subtle flavors. Look for options from New Zealand or the northeastern regions of Italy, such as Friuli-Venezia Giulia or Alto Adige.

Consider the Flavor Profile

The flavor profile of the dish is another crucial aspect to think about. If your salmon is prepared with a citrus glaze or accompanied by a tangy sauce, a wine with high acidity can help balance out the flavors. A dry Riesling, with its vibrant acidity and citrusy notes, can be an excellent choice in this scenario. Look for examples from Germany’s Mosel or Alsace in France.

On the other hand, if your salmon is served with a creamy sauce or buttery accompaniments, you’ll want a wine with a richer texture. A medium-bodied Pinot Noir, with its red fruit flavors and silky tannins, can be a delightful companion for this preparation. Look for options from Oregon’s Willamette Valley or Burgundy’s Côte de Nuits.

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My Personal Recommendations

As someone who enjoys experimenting with wine and food pairings, I have discovered a couple of personal favorites when it comes to pairing wine with salmon.

For grilled or roasted salmon, I love to pour a glass of Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. The creamy texture and hints of vanilla add a luxurious touch to the smoky flavors of the fish. One of my go-to options is the Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay, which never fails to impress.

When poaching or steaming salmon, I often reach for a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. The bright acidity and tropical fruit notes of wines like the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc bring a refreshing and zesty element to the delicate flavors of the fish.


Pairing wine with salmon is a delightful adventure that allows you to explore different flavors and find the perfect match for your taste buds. Whether you opt for a creamy Chardonnay with grilled salmon or a crisp Sauvignon Blanc with poached salmon, the key is to balance the flavors and enhance your dining experience.

Remember, wine pairing is ultimately subjective, and it’s essential to trust your own palate. So grab a bottle, cook up some delicious salmon, and embark on your own wine and food journey!

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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