Salmon, a luscious fish, pairs well with both richer whites and lighter reds. While fish and oaky wines tend to clash, the grilled flavor can actually work well with lightly oaked wines.

Kristin Donnelly
August 30, 2015

Salmon, a luscious fish, pairs well with both richer whites and lighter reds. While fish and oaky wines tend to clash, the grilled flavor can actually work well with lightly oaked wines.

Pinot Gris
In the US, Pinot Gris grows well in Oregon, and salmon is a huge part of the food culture in the Pacific Northwest, so it’s almost no surprise that this pairing works well. Pinot Gris’s pear, stone fruit and sometimes tropical flavors and the wine’s rich textures are great with salmon dishes that have gingery flavors or mustardy glazes. You can also try Pinot Gris if the fish is served with a salad as an accompaniment.

Fruity Rosé
The juicy, melony style of rosé that’s common in California is a terrific match for many types of grilled foods, and salmon is no exception. They work especially well with salmon dishes that include cooked tomatoes or olives, or with grilled salmon tacos.

Pinot Noir
Oregon Pinot Noir and grilled salmon is a New World classic pairing. The wine’s cherry fruit and light spice elements (which often come from being aged in oak) are terrific when the fish is grilled over charcoal or hard wood. Pop open Oregon Pinot Noir when a grilled salmon dish has deeply savory elements, like mushrooms, soy sauce or bacon.

Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016) and the blog Eat Better, Drink Better. She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.

Related: Terrific Salmon Recipes
Grilled Fish Recipes
Grilled Salmon Recipes

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