Pike pairs best with a rich oaky Chardonnay, white Châteauneuf-du-Pape, an aged white Rioja, Gavi di Gavi, Greco di Tufo and Soave.  If your pike dish features herbs, a dry Rosé will work quite well. If you are heading up to the cottage for a weekend of fishing and want to keep things simple, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling all make excellent pairings with Pike. These wines are available everywhere, and will pair with a wide variety of food.

In Ontario, Canada, we catch a type of Pike called a Northern Pike, which can get to about 20 pounds, but we often come around Pike are in the 4-pound range.  Pike is a very lean and boney fish, and you’ll often only get about 1/8th of its weight in boneless meat.  We often fillet the Pike like normal and pick out as many bones with some needle nose pliers as we can.  We then bread our fish and panfry it but often still come across several bones.  The toasty vanilla notes of Chardonnay complement the breaded flavour, while the notes of apple, pear, peach and tropical fruit elevate the tasty flavours of the Pike.

In Quebec, you’ll often find Pike is pureed and turned into a fish mousse or terrines, which is a great way to get past the bone issue of Pike.  Pike can also be poached whole, steamed as a steak, or baked whole after being scaled.  In Canada, we have commercial freshwater fisheries for Pike, but I’ve only come across freshly caught Pike on a restaurant menu.

Best Wine With Pike

TypeVarietalFoodRating
White WineChardonnayBreaded Pike
White WineFrankstein Grand Cru - RieslingBaked Pike
White WineAuxey-Duresses, WhitePike
White WineSavennièresPike
White WineAlsatian RieslingPike
White WineMuscadetPike
White WineFrankstein Grand Cru - RieslingPike Quenelle
White WineMenetou Salon, WhitePike
White WineWhite Rhône (blend)Pike
White WineChardonnayBaked Pike
White WineCôte de Beaune, WhiteBaked Pike
White WineRioja, WhiteBaked Pike
White WineElba BiancoBaked Pike
White WineGavi di Gavi / Cortese di Gavi (DOCG)Baked Pike
White WineGreco di Tufo, WhiteBaked Pike
White WineSoave ClassicoBaked Pike
White WineFrascati Superiore White, DryBaked Pike
White WineGraves, White - BordeauxBaked Pike
White WineWhite Rhône (blend)Baked Pike
White WineCheverny - WhitePike
White WineCoteaux Du Loir - WhitePike
White WineTouraine Azay-le RideauPike
White WineTouraine MeslandPike
White WineMontlouis sur Loire - Dry WhitePike
White WineSauvignon BlancPike
White WineVouvrayPike
RoséRoséPike with Herbs
White WinePinot GrisPike
White WineViognierPike
White WineGrüner VeltlinerPike
White WineAnjou - Coteaux de la LoirePike

What Does Pike taste like?

Pike is low in fat and tastes delicate, however, some say Pike has a muddy taste.  If you’ve ever had inferior farmed Trout, you’ll understand what I mean by a muddy flavour.  I find brown Pike often taste muddy as they often have spent too long in stagnant water, which gives them their brown look.  Pike with silver scales never tastes earthy to me.

Pike are predators, so if they are in stagnant water, they are eating other fish who have been rooting around in the mud, which may also contribute to an earthy taste.  When caught out in a lake, Northern Pike should have plenty out there to eat to give them a wonderful taste.

Pike meat may also have an unpleasant mucous flavour .  Covering the Pike filet with salt overnight and washing it off before eating helps eliminate that mucous flavour out of the fish.  The mucous also makes Pike a problematic fish to scale, so often, we’ll poach the pike whole and remove the skin and scales immediately after taking it out of the pot.

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