Pacific Rim
April 14, 2023 | wine | Pacific Rim

Is There a Good Red Wine Pairing With Salmon?

The general rule of thumb has always been that white wines pair best with fish (especially those that have white meat). But, some people just aren’t fans of white, but enjoy a good red. So, what is the best red wine pairing with salmon? Not only are there several types of salmon, but there are many ways to prepare it, and this can affect your choice of wine. Overall, salmon is a very versatile fish that can be paired with white wine, red, and even rose.

red wine pairing with salmon


Typically speaking, full-bodied white wines make an excellent pairing with fish. But when it comes to red wine pairing with salmon, one not only has to consider the fish but how it is cooked, including the different sauces, seasonings, and side dishes. Salmon is a versatile fish and, therefore, it can be paired with light-bodied wines as well as rose.

Salmon pairing with white wine: As a matter of protocol, when salmon is on the menu, white wines will usually follow. A medium-bodied white wine with a floral aroma like Pinot Grigio also makes a wonderful pairing with salmon.

If the salmon is heavily seasoned with exotic herbs, it will pair well with a dry white wine like Sauvignon Blanc. The citrus and herbal notes of Sauvignon Blanc will complement the salmon's aroma and taste. But what about red wine pairing with salmon?  Pinot Noir is the red wine of choice.

If the salmon is served in a thick creamy sauce, this calls for a full-bodied white wine like Chardonnay. Chardonnay can complement the richness and heaviness of the fish and enhance the taste of the creamy sauce. Another great option is Riesling, which always pairs well with salmon.

If the salmon is smoked, then the best pairing is a vibrant sparkling wine. The bubbliness and the bright acidity of the sparkling wine will cut through the saltiness of the smoked salmon. Other good options include Riesling and Chablis.


While overall white wines pair better with fish, but salmon is a big exception. Salmon pairs well with red wine as long as you pick the right type. The key is to avoid red wines with high tannins, like Cabernet Sauvignon. What is the best red wine pairing with salmon? Perhaps the best red wine to pair with salmon is Pinot Noir. The fruitiness and earthy undertones of the wine can bring out the aromas of a smoked or herb-crusted salmon.  Not a fan of Salmon? Pinot Noir is also the first choice for red wine pairing with ham and other foods of similar texture.

Grilled salmon is best paired with light-bodied reds, like Gamay, Beaujolais, and Zinfandel. These light reds complement the smokiness of the grilled salmon and enhance the taste.


If all this sounds too complex, then just remember that the mild-tasting salmon usually pairs well with a full-bodied white wine, like Riesling or Chardonnay, but if the salmon is spicy, barbecued, grilled, or curried, then go with a red wine like Pinot Noir. For those not a fan of salmon, and would rather have a red wine pairing with ham or another similar meat, then Pinot Noir is also a solid choice. If you want to walk the line when choosing a red wine pairing with salmon, purchase rosé wine, and you could compromise with both the fans of red and white!

Some great quality and affordable wines for your salmon include:




Commenting has been turned off.


Recent Posts