Top Ten Wines to Complement Salmon

The top ten wines to complement salmon range from white wines to red. The statement about drinking only white wine with fish is true to a certain degree, but you still have to take into account of how the fish is prepared and the ingredients being used. All white wines don’t necessarily pair well with fish, especially the rich flavor of salmon. You may find that some reds will do better.

Wines vary in their flavor and aroma according to their growing regions and how and what they are aged in. When you pair your wine to your dish, you a wine will either go well or enhance that dish. You don’t want your wine to overpower the food, and like-wise, you don’t want your food to overpower your wine.

They should complement each other and bring out the best taste and flavor of each other. You want to be able to taste the best of both worlds… your salmon and the wine. If you should pair your wine with the wrong dish, you will know it.

In the end however, the decision is yours as to what wine you choose to go with what salmon dish. Our taste are as different as the flavors of wines, and sometimes, what taste good to me will not taste good to you. So if you love wine with your salmon, experiment until you find the perfect combination.

If the bottle you purchase doesn’t do the trick, don’t despair. It could possible go very well with another dish or perhaps dessert or maybe as a sipping wine for an evening sitting on the deck.Please enjoy the list of the top ten wines to complement salmon. I hope this information will benefit you in your choices of wines.

Chardonnay (shar-duh-NAY)
Grgich Hills 2005 Chardonnay
Chardonnays from California are crisp white wines that have the rich flavor of oak, butter, and vanilla. It has the aroma of pears, citrus, peaches, apples or tropical fruits. You don’t want to overpower your salmon dish, so try to avoid wines that have too much oak tasted. Salmon is a rich, naturally oily fish and the California Chardonnays pairs nicely with it. This wine goes well with any roasted or grilled salmon and rich butter cream sauces.

Roasted Salmon in Lemon Butter
The Chardonnay’s hint of citrus along with the buttery flavor and creamy texture complements this salmon dish wonderfully.

Sauvignon Blanc (so-vee-NYOHN BLAHN)
Covey Run Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc is a great flavored, crisp dry white wine, with natural acidity, and runs from light to medium bodied. But this wine’s aroma is of vanilla, honey and pineapple, with taste that range from tropical and citrus to herbal, mineral, veggie and cut grass. New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc is light, lemony and zesty, and pair very well with salmon.

Braised Baked Salmon
With fresh basil, fresh dill, fresh lemon and fresh clove. This is a dish that is light in flavors and pairs well with the crisp, natural sweetness of this wine.

Cabernet Sauvignon (cah-burr-NAY Saw-vee-nyonh)
Cherry Creek Cellars 2005 ENIGMA Cabernet Sauvignon
The medium-bodied Cabernet Sauvignons are soft, fruity and are less tannic. On the other hand, the fuller Cabernet Sauvignons have a little more concentration of oak and tannis, and are more complex. It does have a bold flavor of ripe berry, tobacco and occasionally green pepper. As it ages, it’s black currant aroma tends to develop hints of violets, leather and cedar. By then, the tannis will mellow and smooth out. This wine goes well with smoked salmon and pâté.

Smoked Salmon Pâté
The dark berry fruit flavor of Cabernet Sauvignon works well with this salmon dish. The tannic helps cleanse the palate of fat and balances each bite of the pâté. This wine also hold it’s own against powerful spices.

Riesling (REEZ-ling)
Fetzer Johannisberg Riesling
Riesling gets it’s flavor from minerals in the soil where it was grown. But still it is a delicate wine with taste that range from sweet to tart and crisp. Because of the minerals in the soil, you will find hints of stone or maybe slate along with citrus, apple, fruit, and floral characteristics. It has a nice balance of acidity and fruit that goes very well with smoked fish or spicy sauces.

Salmon Steaks with Honey Barbecue Sauce
Riesling has a honey type sweetness that pairs well with this dish, but you have to give credit to it’s acidity that brings out the flavor of the barbecue sauce.

Pinot Noir (Pee-noh-n’wahr)
Castle Rock Pinot Noir
Pinot Noirs can be either light or full-bodied. It’s a red wine, but has a lighter color and is very favorable. The fuller-bodied has a more concentrated taste of ripe cherry, more oak and fuller tannis. The lighter version has more hints of spice, juicy fruit and a more balanced acidity. It’s aroma is akin to black cherry or ripe-grape, with hints of mint, cinnamon or sassafras. This is a very flexible red wine and goes well with a variety of foods, especially grilled, seared, spice-crusted or poached salmon with a medium amount of herbs.

Poached Salmon with Dill Sauce
The lighter fruitiness of Pinot Noir brings out the herbal flavor of the dill in this dish.

Pinot Gris (Pee-noh Gree)
King Estate Pinot Gris 2006
The Oregon version of this wine flavors of citrus, honey, orange blossom and grapefruit. It’s a wine that complements food without overpowering it. It has no oak and a well balanced acidity. This wine goes well with fatty fish like salmon. The salmon can be smoked, roasted or grilled.

Plank Roasted Salmon
Pinot Gris is a wine that not only goes well with salmon, but it enhances the salmon. The acidity from the wine and the richness of the salmon balances each other. The wine also contributes it’s complex fruit flavors of citrus, pears and peaches to the salmon, which adds a spicy taste to it.

Rosé (Roe-ZAY)
Domaines Ott Chateau de Selle Rose Coeur de Grain, 2005 Provence
This rosé has an aroma of apricot, fresh fruit and peach. It also has a slight hint of spice and red berry. It has just the right amount of acidity with a low to medium level of alcohol. This is a crisp and delicate red wine that should be served around 50 to 54 degrees. Rosés pair perfectly with salmon and other light dishes that have citrus or garlic. Try pairing it with grilled salmon.

Grilled Salmon Mignons with Tomato Basil Relish
Rosé is a light wine that pairs nicely with the this dish. The wine has a fruit and flowery taste that goes very well with the succulent flavor of the salmon and the light acid of the tomato.

Viognier (vee-ohn-YAY)
Wild Horse 2005 Central Coast Viognier
Viognier is a heady wine that has an aroma of apricots and white peaches and a slightly high alcohol content. It goes well with smoked flavors, mustard, ginger and baked, grilled, poached and fried salmon.

Grilled Salmon with Mango and Grilled Pineapple Salsa
This wine has the fruity and floral characteristics to complement the salsa with the crisp acidity to contrast with the rich fatty salmon.

White Bordeaux (bore-DOUGH)
St. Hallett Poachers Blend 2006
White Bordeaux is generally a combination of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The crispness comes from the Sauvignon Blanc and the Semillon completes the tastes by adding a rich honey flavor. The combination of the two, creates a crisp, clean, full flavored wine that has citrus, pear, lime and tropical flavors. This gives the Bordeaux the richness it needs in order to pair favorably with the richer sauces and fish flavors. This White Bordeaux has a touch of Riesling added that causes the citrus finish to have a certain twist and crispness. It goes really well with poached salmon.

Lemon grass and Citrus Poached Salmon
The rich flavor of this White Bordeaux compliments this very light and delicate salmon dish very well, allowing the smooth, subtle lemon and citrus flavor to emerge along with the flavor of the salmon.

Zinfandel (ZIN-fan-dell
Rombauer Zinfandel 2002, St. Helena
There is a medium-bodied and full-bodied Zinfandel. The medium-bodied Zinfandel has the fruity and spicy flavor of raisins, cherries, raspberries, blackberries and plums. The full-bodied Zinfandel has higher alcohol, a lot of oak and the tannin levels are high. The best red Zinfandels have fruit aromas and flavors. This wine can be paired with spicy dishes and braised, grilled or smoked salmon. The fruit flavor of the wine complements the earthy vegetables like mushrooms, asparagus and artichokes, and brings out the fruit flavor in sauces made from fruit.

Grilled Salmon Steak with Asparagus
The fruit and earthiness of the Zinfandel pairs wells the rich and smoky flavors of the salmon and fresh asparagus.

Beaujolais (BOW-shjoo-lay)
2006 Bellecourt, Chenas, Beaujolais, France
First off, this is not a Noveau, which has to be consumed in six weeks or so. This is your serious fresh and fruity Beaujolais from Chénas, that is made 100% from the Gamay grape. It is a dark red wine and has an aroma that reminds you of peonies, roses, plums and cooked peaches. This aroma is akin to jam that has cumin spices and cinnamon. This Beaujolais wine has good acidity, is well-balanced and pairs well with salmon dishes. You should serve it cool, but not cold.

Slow Cooked Salmon
Slow cooking the salmon concentrates the rich flavors and pairing it with a light and fresh Beaujolais lets the flavor of the salmon come through.

Don’t stop here! You can also read about some of the best Napa Valley vineyards and their wine.