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Wine Pairing With Salmon and Seafood
From the buttery feel of Chardonnay to the effervescent charm of Champagne and sparkling wines, we guide you through selecting the perfect wine to enhance the flavors of salmon and your favorite seafood dishes. Check out our top picks at Pascale's Liquors, located at 7401 Oswego Road, Liverpool, NY.
Salmon is a rich, oily fish with a distinct flavor that can stand up to a variety of wines. The key is to match the wine with the preparation method and sauces used with the salmon.

Seafood Wine Pairings

  • Chardonnay: A buttery, oaked Chardonnay pairs well with salmon cooked in creamy sauces or simply poached. The buttery mouthfeel of the wine mirrors the creamy texture of the salmon, but its crisp acidity keeps the dish from becoming too heavy.
  • Sauvignon Blanc: For salmon prepared with herby sauces or served alongside green vegetables, a crisp Sauvignon Blanc with its herbal notes can enhance the freshness of the dish.
  • Riesling: A slightly sweet or off-dry Riesling works well with spicy glazed salmon. The sweetness of the wine can cool down the heat and highlight the flavors of the dish.
  • Pinot Noir: For grilled or smoked salmon, a light-bodied Pinot Noir can be an excellent choice. The fruity notes of the wine complement the smokiness of the salmon without overwhelming its unctuous flavor.
  • Champagne and Sparkling Wines: The high acidity and effervescence of Champagne and other sparkling wines make them versatile partners for a wide range of seafood, especially shellfish like oysters and shrimp.
  • Chablis: A Chablis, made from Chardonnay grapes in the Burgundy region of France, offers a crisp, mineral-driven option that pairs wonderfully with oysters and shellfish. Its unoaked flavor profile allows the natural flavors of the seafood to shine.
  • Viognier: A floral and aromatic Viognier can provide a nice contrast for richer seafood dishes, such as lobster or crab served with butter. The wine's body and aromatics stand up to the richness of the seafood without overpowering it.

Wine Recommendations to Serve with Salmon and Seafood


La Crema Monterey Chardonnay

This Chardonnay combines sweet stone fruit and citrus flavors, making it smooth and memorable. It's a refreshing, easy-to-enjoy wine that brings out the best of California’s terroir.

With notes of Meyer Lemon, passionfruit, and grilled pineapple, complemented by a hint of spice and minerality, this cool-climate Chardonnay pairs beautifully with grilled salmon, shrimp tacos, and dishes like Pad Thai. 

Baus Family Vineyards Chardonnay

This wine offers a mix of pear, lemon, clove, and floral aromas with a touch of smoke and vanilla. It blooms with peaches, pears, and lime on the palate, with a creamy feel and a tropical finish. This pairs well with lobster, salmon, and chicken dishes.

Kendall Jackson Avant Unoaked Chardonnay

Sourced from California's premier counties including Monterey, Santa Barbara, and Mendocino, this wine is vibrant and crisp, blending green apple, citrus, and tropical fruit notes with hints of pineapple, pear, and wildflowers for a refreshing experience.
La Crema's Monterey Chardonnay, from select vineyards in Monterey, California, is a vibrant and light white wine that marries bright citrus with exotic fruit flavors, using boutique winemaking techniques and aging in both oak barrels and stainless-steel tanks for a perfectly balanced medium body and crisp acidity.

With notes of Meyer Lemon, passionfruit, and grilled pineapple, complemented by a hint of spice and minerality, this cool-climate Chardonnay pairs beautifully with grilled salmon, shrimp tacos, and dishes like Pad Thai. 

Beringer Main & Vine Chardonnay

This Chardonnay combines sweet stone fruit and citrus flavors, making it smooth and memorable. It's a refreshing, easy-to-enjoy wine that brings out the best of California’s terroir.

Pinot Noir

Baus Family Vineyards Pinot Noir

This wine showcases flavors of dark cherry, plum, and raspberry, beautifully layered with hints of baking spices and loam, offering a medium weight that's easy to enjoy. It is an affordable option with good structure and depth, ending in a lush finish that makes it a delightful choice for any occasion.

Granite Hill Cellars Lodi Pinot Noir

This wine is packed with deep dark fruit flavors, featuring the sweetness of black cherries and cranberries alongside the spicy warmth of cloves. It's enriched with the earthy notes of tobacco and sweetened with touches of caramel and vanilla, creating a richly layered taste.

This wine starts with a bold fruitiness and evolves into a smooth, full-bodied finish, offering a satisfying and luxurious drinking experience. 

Sauvignon Blanc

Silver Beach Sauvignon Blanc

This Classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc dazzles with concentrated aromas and flavors of passionfruit and ruby red grapefruit, enriched by aging on the lees for a beautifully textured mid-palate. The wine's generous fruit flavors are perfectly balanced by crisp acidity, leading to a lively and refreshing experience, with hints of lemongrass adding complexity to the finish.

Pouilly Fume Karine Lauverjat Central Vineyards France Loire Valley

Located across from Sancerre by the Loire River, this area features unique soil with limestone and red flint, which adds smoky flavors to the wine and contributes to its minerality.


Carl Sittmann Riesling

Delighting the senses with inviting aromas of green apples, pears, and apricots, this Riesling sets the stage for its sweet flavors of peaches and apples. It strikes a beautiful balance with its crisp acidity, so it remains refreshingly elegant and graceful, without tipping into excessive sweetness.

Forge Cellars Dry Riesling "Classique"

This unique wine has an intricate blend of mustard flower, yellow apple, quince, and jasmine notes, all harmoniously intertwined within a slightly rounded, waxy texture. It finishes with a welcome flash of quinine, adding a distinct twist to its complex flavor profile.

Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling

Since 1967, the brand’s skilled winemakers have been crafting exceptional wines, turning the finest grapes into world-renowned selections. This vibrant Riesling, harvested at optimal ripeness, unfurls flavors of tart apple and peach, making it a perfect match for seafood pasta and curry. 

Jacob Heims Steep Slope Riesling

This wine comes from sun-soaked, steep vineyards with well-drained, stony soil, perfect for ripening grapes to their fullest. It's an elegant, smooth wine with a natural sweetness and a balance of pure flavors. As you drink, you'll notice the bold taste of stone fruits that lead to a bright and crisp finish. 

Which Wine to Use for Cooking Seafood

Matching Wine with the Fish

For light, delicate fish like tilapia, flounder, or sole, choose a light, crisp white wine such as Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, or a light Chardonnay. These wines won't overpower the delicate flavors of the fish, especially when cooked in a sauce like beurre blanc. You can go for a fuller-bodied white wine like a rich Chardonnay or Viognier for oilier fish like salmon or mackerel.

Going With the Cooking Method

When steaming or poaching seafood, use a wine that you would enjoy drinking on its own, but nothing too expensive. A good quality, mid-range Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay can add a nice aromatic quality to the cooking liquid. For dishes that have a sauce or are stew-based, like seafood pasta or bouillabaisse, consider the sauce's main flavors. A dry, crisp white wine works well in light, tomato-based or herb sauces, while a slightly richer white wine can complement cream-based sauces.

Match the Wine to the Sauce

Choose a crisp, acidic white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc or a light Pinot Grigio to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. Go for a wine with a bit more body and richness, such as an oaked Chardonnay, to mirror the creaminess of the sauce. Look for a wine with high acidity and fresh, fruity notes like a Vermentino or Albariño to complement the brightness of the herbs and citrus.

Use Quality Wine

While you don't need to cook with an expensive bottle of wine, it's important to use a wine that is good enough to drink. The cooking process will concentrate the flavors of the wine, so if it's too sour, bitter, or has off-flavors, these will become more pronounced in your dish.

Avoid Wines Labeled “Cooking Wine” 

These often have added salt and other additives that can negatively affect the taste of your dish. It's generally better to use a regular drinking wine that does not have these additives.

Consider Regional Pairings

A classic approach is to pair the wine with seafood from the same region. For example, a French Muscadet is wonderful with oysters, and an Italian Verdicchio pairs beautifully with Adriatic seafood.

Pick Out Your Faves

Deepen your wine pairing knowledge with Pascale’s Liquors, located at 7401 Oswego Road in Liverpool, NY. We invite you to continue this journey of taste and innovation by visiting our website at www.pascalesliquor.com or by calling us at (315) 701-0781 for more personalized advice.