The best wines to pair with Salmon are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc and Beaujolais Cru.  It may seem odd pairing a red wine with fish, however, Salmon is a meaty fish with lots of fat and flavour, making it a delicious pairing acidic and lighter red wines.  White wines with amplified flavours are also incredibly delicious with Salmon.

Salmon is a versatile fish that is delicious no matter how you cook it.  Well, except for deep frying it.  Otherwise, you can steam, grill, smoke, poach, cure and braise Salmon.  I’ve even seen people microwave Salmon, and while that method works, the times I’ve seen it done make a bit of a mess due to the fat content of Salmon.

Speaking of fat content, the species of Salmon vary by fat content.  Chum and Pink Salmon are the lowest in fat, while Atlantic, Coho and Sockeye have a moderate amount of fat.  Meanwhile, Chinook or King Salmon is the fattiest.

In North America, we mostly eat Atlantic Salmon, which is farmed.  While Atlantic Salmon is delicious, it can get boring if you eat it every day as there is no variation in Atlantic Salmon.  Pacific Salmon includes Chinook, Chum, Coho, Pink and Sockeye fish, which offers some variation as the fat content differs. Pacific Salomon is also usually only available at certain times of the year as it is caught in the wild. (Unless, of course, you buy it canned or it is farmed.)

Best Wine with Salmon

Red WinePinot NoirSalmon
White WineRieslingSmoked Salmon
BeerOrval Trappist AleSalmon
Sparkling WineChampagne, Blanc de blancs Smoked Salmon
BeerIndia Pale Ale - IPASalmon Grilled on a Cedar Plank
BeerWheat BeerSmoked Salmon
Sparkling WineChampagne, RoséSmoked Salmon
White WineSauvignon BlancSalmon Burgers
White WineChardonnaySalmon Grilled on a Cedar Plank
White WineRiesling, Late HarvestSalmon Teriyaki
Sparkling WineChampagne, Blanc de NoirsIkura - Salmon Roe Sushi/Sashimi
BeerLagerSmoked Salmon
Red WinePinot NoirSalmon Grilled on a Cedar Plank
SherrySherry, FinoSalmon Teriyaki
BeerAleSmoked Salmon
BeerWeissbierGrilled Salmon
White WineChardonnaySalmon
BeerSmoked BeerSmoked Salmon
Sparkling WineSparkling Wine, RoséShake/Sake - Salmon Sushi/Sashimi
Sparkling WineSparkling Wine, RoséShake-shioyaki (salted salmon) Okazu
Sparkling WineChampagne, BrutSmoked Salmon
White WineChardonnaySmoked Salmon
SherrySherry, FinoTandoori Salmon
LiquorGin Based DrinksSalmon Grilled on a Cedar Plank
White WineFrankstein Grand Cru - Pinot GrisSmoked Salmon
White WineGrüner VeltlinerSmoked Salmon
LiquorVodkaSmoked Salmon
RoséRoséSalmon Burgers
White WineSemillonSalmon
White WineChablisSalmon Poached
SherrySherry, ManzanillaTandoori Salmon
White WineSancerreSalmon
White WineRieslingSalmon Burgers
Sparkling WineSparkling Wine, RoséSalmon
White WineRieslingShake/Sake - Salmon Sushi/Sashimi
RoséMenetou Salon RoséSmoked Salmon with Fennel
White WineChardonnayCha Ca Hoi - Salmon Fish Cakes
White WineChardonnaySalmon Teriyaki
White WineVouvrayIkura - Salmon Roe Sushi/Sashimi
White WineRieslingShake-shioyaki (salted salmon) Okazu
White WineChâteauneuf du Pape, WhiteBarbecued Salmon in Foil Parcels
BeerOrval Trappist AleSmoked Salmon
BeerWheat BeerSalmon Burgers
White WinePinot GrisSalmon
White WinePouilly FuméSalmon Poached
White WineSauvignon BlancSmoked Salmon
Fortified WineMarsala, Off-DrySmoked Salmon
White WineLuganaSalmon Grilled on a Cedar Plank
BeerCream AleGrilled Salmon
White WineSavennièresSalmon
White WineChardonnay, UnoakedSalmon
White WineSaint Chinian - White - Languedoc RoussillonSalmon and Leek Quiche
Sparkling WineSparkling WineSmoked Salmon
White WineKabinett RieslingSushi Salmon
White WineRieslingCha Ca Hoi - Salmon Fish Cakes
BeerPale AleSalmon Burgers
RoséRoséShake-shioyaki (salted salmon) Okazu
White WinePinot GrigioSmoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Bagel
Red WineLambruscoSalmon
SherrySherry, FinoSmoked Salmon
BeerPilsnerSalmon Burgers
White WineViognierSalmon
White WinePinot GrisSmoked Salmon
Red WineBardolino SuperioreSalmon
White WineChâteauneuf du Pape, WhiteSalmon Blanquette
White WineSaint Chinian - White - Languedoc RoussillonEndive Gratin with Smoked Salmon
White WineBurgundy, WhiteSalmon
White WineChardonnay, UnoakedSalmon Burgers
White WineChardonnay, UnoakedOmelette with Smoked Salmon
White WineGentil D'AlsaceSalmon
White WineChablisShake-shioyaki (salted salmon) Okazu
Sparkling WineSaumur, Dry Sparkling WhiteBlini with Caviar or Smoked Salmon
Red WineLagreinSalmon
White WineVacqueyras - WhiteSalmon Tartare with Ginger
SherrySherry, ManzanillaSmoked Salmon
BeerWheat BeerSalmon
BeerLagerSalmon Burgers
Red WinePelavergaSalmon
White WineChardonnaySalmon Poached with a Lemon Sauce
White WinePinot GrigioSmoked Salmon
PortWhite Port - DrySmoked Salmon
Red WinePinot NoirSalmon Burgers
White WineViognierSalmon Grilled on a Cedar Plank
White WineChardonnayGeelbek (Cape Salmon)
SherrySherry, ManzanillaSalmon Teriyaki
Red WineBeaujolaisSalmon Burgers
RoséRoséOra King Salmon
White WineOff Dry RieslingSmoked Salmon Mousse
White WineFavoritaSalmon
White WineSaint Chinian - White - Languedoc RoussillonSalmon Tartare with Ginger
LiquorScotch Single MaltSmoked Salmon
BeerGoseSalmon Burgers
White WineMontlouis sur Loire - Dry WhiteSalmon
White WineSauvignon BlancSalmon Poached with a Lemon Sauce
White WineViognierSmoked Salmon
White WineWeisser Riesling - South AfricaSmoked Salmon
TeaTea, GreenSalmon Burgers
White WineSauvignon BlancSalmon
White WineSancerreSmoked Salmon
Red WineFleurie - Beaujolais CruSalmon Pan Roasted
BeerPiwo GrodziskieGrilled Salmon
White WinePouilly FuméSalmon
BeerBerliner WeisseSalmon Burgers
RoséProvençal RoséShake/Sake - Salmon Sushi/Sashimi
White WineWeisser Riesling - South AfricaSmoked Salmon Mousse
Sparkling WineCavaCha Ca Hoi - Salmon Fish Cakes
White WineSpätlese RieslingSalmon Teriyaki
White WineChablis Premier CruSmoked Salmon
Sparkling WineSparkling Wine, RoséIkura - Salmon Roe Sushi/Sashimi
White WineJurançon, Dry AOCSalmon
RoséProvençal RoséShake-shioyaki (salted salmon) Okazu
White WineMâcon, WhiteAvocado with Smoked Salmon
Red WineChiroubles - Beaujolais CruSalmon
White WineChâteauneuf du Pape, WhiteSalmon Risotto
Fortified WineMadeira, VerdelhoSmoked Salmon
White WineVermentinoSalmon Grilled on a Cedar Plank
White WineTorrontésGrilled Salmon
RoséRoséSalmon with Fennel
Red WineValpolicella RipassoSalmon
Red WineBeaujolais CruSalmon Grilled on a Cedar Plank
Sparkling WineSparkling WineSmoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Bagel
Sparkling WineSparkling WineSalmon Tartare
Red WineBeaujolaisSalmon with Grilled Red Onions
Red WineBurgundy, RedSalmon
Sparkling WineChampagne, Blanc de blancs Blini with Caviar or Smoked Salmon
White WineSauvignon BlancSalmon Tartare
White WineChardonnaySalmon with Hollandaise Sauce
Sparkling WineSparkling WineSalmon Poached with a Lemon Sauce
Red WinePinot NoirSmoked Salmon
BeerAltbierGrilled Salmon
White WineGrüner VeltlinerSalmon Burgers
Red WineBeaujolaisSalmon
White WineVouvraySmoked Salmon
White WineChenin BlancSushi Salmon
White WineGewürztraminerSalmon Grilled on a Cedar Plank
Sparkling WineChampagneSmoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Bagel
White WineMeursaultSalmon with Hollandaise Sauce
RoséRoséSalmon Grilled on a Cedar Plank
White WineSavennièresSmoked Salmon
White WineGavi di Gavi / Cortese di Gavi (DOCG)Salmon Canapés
Red WinePinot NoirSushi Salmon
White WineChablisSalmon
LiquorVodkaBlini with Caviar or Smoked Salmon
White WineGewürztraminer, AlsaceSmoked Salmon
Red WineRioja ReservaGrilled Salmon
White WineSoave Superiore ClassicoSalmon Grilled on a Cedar Plank
White WineGrüner VeltlinerSalmon Grilled on a Cedar Plank
White WineSauvignon BlancSalmon with Dill
BeerPale AleSalmon
BeerAmerican India Pale AleSalmon
Sparkling WineSparkling WineSalmon Grilled on a Cedar Plank

Oregon Pinot Noir & Chinook Salmon Pairing

The ultimate wine pairing with grilled or pan-roasted Salmon is a young Pinot Noir from Oregon.   If you are ever in Oregon, this is a must-have meal.

Chinook is the fattiest and largest Salmon, and typically weighs somewhere between 15 and 40 pounds and is available fresh in the summer.  Farmed Chinook does exist, so you might also see it on the menu during other seasons.  What’s more important, however, is to have a young Chinook, as mature Chinook Salmon are not as flavourful and rich as young Salmon.

What makes Oregon Pinot Noir so delicious with Grilled Salmon is how the silky texture of the wine embraces the delicate and supple flesh of the Salmon meat.  With Oregon Pinot Noir, you have a lot of fresh and refreshing blackberry, plum and cherry flavours that enhance the taste of the Salmon.  You’ll also find earthier notes of mushroom, black tea, mocha and truffle that are amazing with the grilled flavours of your Salmon.

If you want a meal you’ll never forget and find yourself in Oregon, this is a must-try pairing.  And fear not, if you’re not in Oregon and you’re unsure of your species of Salmon, a Pinot Noir from any country is certain to be delicious.

Chardonnay & Grilled Salmon Pairing

A moderately oaked Chardonnay is amazing with either Poached or Grilled Salmon.  Chardonnay is a full-bodied white wine that can stand up to Salmon’s rich and fatty flavours.  An oaked Chardonnay will be round, whereas an unoaked Chardonnay will taste lean.  Oak introduces flavours of smoke and vanilla, which complement the grilled flavours of your Salmon.  You’ll also find lovely flavours of apple, peach, pear and citrus that contrast the meaty flavours of your Salmon.

Meanwhile, Poached Salmon, while rich in flavour, is still a bit plain.  The creamy and smooth flavours that Chardonnay introduces, such as mango, pear, pineapple, apricot and peach, introduce a little excitement to each bite without distracting you from the delicious flavours of the Salmon.

Oaked Chardonnay will also go great with smoked Salmon, Salmon that is prepared with a tropical chutney or citrus fruit sauce, Salmon in a cream sauce, or Salmon prepared with coconut milk.

Rosé & Salmon Pairing

Rosé Wine is a tart and cheerful wine that is salmon pink in colour and looks delightful when placed against a dish of Salmon.  Crisp and smooth, Rosé features lots of acidity to lift and whisk away the fat content of the Salmon, ensuring each bite tastes fresh.

Rosé features bright flavours of cherry, strawberry, raspberry and herbs, making it incredibly refreshing.  Crisp, clean, and inexpensive, Rosé is best enjoyed on a sunny patio, during brunch or on a picnic with Salmon sandwiches, Salmon Kebabs, smoked Salmon and poached Salmon.

Sauvignon Blanc & Poached Salmon Pairing

Sauvignon Blanc is a versatile wine that features notes of lemon, lime, and grapefruit which mesh well with rich flavours of poached Salmon.  Even when poached, Salmon is full of flavour, thus, the loud flavours of a crisp Sauvignon Blanc offer a refreshing interlude.

Aside from citrus flavours, Sauvignon Blanc is famous for being herbal or grassy, making it a fantastic pair with Salmon accompanied by a Dill Sauce, Salmon Burgers and Salmon Tartare.  Sancerre, which is a French Sauvignon Blanc, features amazing notes of smoke, gunflint and mineral that make it a great choice with Smoke Salmon.

No matter how you prepare your Salmon, any Sauvignon Blanc is bound to work, and should taste great!

Beaujolais Cru & Salmon Pairing

Beaujolais Cru is a red wine that is similar to Pinot Noir as it is light, fruity, and features a kiss of earthiness.  There are ten types of Beaujolais Cru, and they all vary by style, but I wouldn’t get too hung up on these details as all of them will pair well with nearly any Salmon dish you decide upon.

The availability of Beaujolais Cru is often short-lived as well, as North America only imports a limited amount, and the bottles fly off the shelves as these wines offer a bargain price for the quality.  If you cannot find a Beaujolais Cru, select a Beaujolais Villages, which is a step down in quality but is still an excellent red wine.

With Beaujolais, expect velvety flavours of raspberry, strawberry, cherry, plum and cranberry.  You’ll also discover aromatic notes of spice, black pepper, earth and violet.  The refreshing flavours and high acidity of Beaujolais sweep any fatty flavours of Salmon that might cling to your taste buds away, ensuring every bite of your meal is rich and flavourful.