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What Wine Goes with Salmon? Find the Perfect Pairing

What's better than enjoying a delicious meal with a perfectly paired glass of wine? That's right, nothing! And when it comes to pairing wine with salmon, the possibilities are endless. This versatile fish, with its delicate taste and texture, can be prepared in so many ways that it pairs perfectly with a variety of types of wine.


From a light and crisp Sauvignon Blanc to a full-bodied Pinot Noir, there is a wine out there to complement every preparation of salmon. So, whether you're grilling up some salmon kebabs, baking a filet, or smoking a side of salmon, we've got you covered with the perfect wine pairing recommendations to enhance the flavors of your meal.


Light and Refreshing Whites


Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc is a popular choice for pairing with salmon. This crisp and zesty white wine offers vibrant acidity and citrusy flavors that harmonize well with the delicate taste of salmon. Its herbal undertones and refreshing qualities make it a delightful accompaniment to grilled or baked salmon dishes.


Pinot Grigio

Another excellent white wine option is Pinot Grigio. Known for its light and crisp nature, Pinot Grigio complements salmon with its subtle fruity flavors and high acidity. The combination of this wine's refreshing qualities and the salmon's natural oils creates a delightful contrast that is sure to please the palate.


Elegant and Complex Whites



Chardonnay, a classic white wine, can be a great match for salmon. With its rich and buttery characteristics, Chardonnay brings depth and complexity to the pairing. The wine's flavors of tropical fruits and oak nuances provide an excellent balance to the salmon's flavors, especially when served with creamy or buttery sauces.


White Burgundy

White Burgundy, made from Chardonnay grapes grown in the Burgundy region of France, offers a refined and elegant choice for salmon pairing. Its notes of apple, pear, and mineral undertones complement the fish's flavors beautifully. The well-structured acidity of White Burgundy helps to cleanse the palate, making it an excellent choice for a more sophisticated dining experience.


Rosé Wines

Rosé wines can also be a delightful option for pairing with salmon. Their versatility and refreshing nature make them suitable for a wide range of salmon preparations. Opt for a dry rosé with notes of red berries and a crisp finish. The acidity and fruitiness of the wine will harmonize well with the salmon's flavors, creating a pleasant contrast.


Light and Fruity Reds


Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir, a light-bodied red wine, is a versatile option that pairs well with many dishes, including salmon. Its red fruit flavors, such as cherry and raspberry, complement the fish's delicate flavors without overpowering them. The soft tannins and vibrant acidity of Pinot Noir make it an excellent choice for both grilled and lightly seasoned salmon.



Beaujolais, made from Gamay grapes in the Beaujolais region of France, is another light and fruity red wine that pairs wonderfully with salmon. Its vibrant berry flavors and low tannins make it an approachable and versatile choice. Serve it slightly chilled for a refreshing and enjoyable dining experience.


Rich and Full-Bodied Reds



If you prefer a richer and more full-bodied wine, Merlot can be an excellent choice for pairing with salmon. Its velvety texture, plum, and black cherry flavors complement the fish's flavors beautifully. Opt for a Merlot with moderate tannins and a smooth finish to ensure a harmonious balance between the wine and the salmon.


Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon, a full-bodied red wine known for its bold flavors and firm tannins, can create an interesting pairing with salmon. This combination works particularly well when the fish is prepared with robust flavors or served with a rich sauce. Choose a softer and fruit-forward Cabernet Sauvignon to avoid overpowering the delicate flavors of the salmon.


Sparkling Wines

Sparkling wines, such as Champagne and Prosecco, can add a touch of elegance to your salmon pairing. The effervescence and acidity of these wines help cleanse the palate, preparing it for each succulent bite of salmon. The crisp and lively bubbles bring a refreshing sensation that complements the fish's flavors wonderfully.


Dessert Wines

While not commonly associated with salmon, certain dessert wines can surprise and delight when paired correctly. Opt for a late-harvest Riesling or a sweet Gewürztraminer with a touch of acidity. These wines can provide a delightful contrast to the richness of the salmon, creating a memorable dessert experience.


Pairing Salmon with Wine: Tips and Suggestions


  • Consider the cooking method: Different cooking methods, such as grilling, baking, or smoking, can influence the flavors of the salmon. Adjust your wine pairing accordingly.
  • Balance the flavors: Aim for a balance between the flavors of the wine and the salmon. Avoid overpowering one with the other.
  • Experiment: Don't be afraid to try different wine varietals and styles to find your perfect pairing. Personal preferences can play a significant role in the overall enjoyment of the combination.


Pairing wine with salmon can elevate your dining experience, allowing you to savor the delicate flavors of the fish alongside the nuances of various wines.

From light and refreshing whites to rich and full-bodied reds, there are numerous options to explore. Consider the cooking method, balance the flavors, and don't be afraid to experiment.

Cheers to finding the perfect wine to accompany your next salmon dish!


FAQs Pairing Salmon with Wine


  1. Can I pair red wine with salmon?
    • Yes, light and fruity red wines like Pinot Noir and Beaujolais can pair well with salmon.
  2. Should I serve white wine or red wine with grilled salmon?
    • Both white and red wines can complement grilled salmon. It depends on your personal preference and the specific flavors of the wine and salmon.
  3. What type of wine goes best with smoked salmon?
    • Light and refreshing whites like Sauvignon Blanc or sparkling wines like Champagne can enhance the flavors of smoked salmon.
  4. Can I pair dessert wine with salmon?
    • While it may not be the traditional choice, certain dessert wines with a touch of acidity can create an interesting pairing with salmon.
  5. How should I serve sparkling wines with salmon?
    • Serve sparkling wines chilled in flute glasses to fully appreciate their effervescence and crispness alongside the flavors of salmon.


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