I have to admit that I’ve been dreading this post more than virtually any other one. I hate Salmon. No… wait a minute. Hate isn’t strong enough a word. I despise Salmon. I loathe it more than almost any other food with the possible exception of any kind of liver, and calling liver food is a stretch. I generally dislike anything fishy which pretty much rules out fish…no big surprise there but Salmon is an especially strong, fishy fish so its near the top of the “would only eat if it was a choice between eating it and starving” list. It doesn’t matter if it is smoked, grilled, poached, baked or raw. That fish flavor is overpowering. So why the dissertation on my hatred of a food? This is the first food and wine pairing post where I just plain didn’t like the food which makes offering my own advice on pairing wine difficult. On our other food and wine pairing posts, I rely on my intuition and tastes as well as reading what others think are good food and wine combinations. Occasionally, I disagree with the generally purveyed suggestions like I did with the Filet Mignon post. However, with Salmon, all I can do is summarize the collective wisdom of others because I am not going to eat this stuff. There’s a lot of things I’ll do for our readers but eating Salmon isn’t one of them.
Pairing wine with Salmon does offer an intriguing array of choices. It is fish so assuming that there isn’t a sauce that you need to match, a full bodied white is one of the best accompaniments to it. Chardonnay is probably the most common to American tasters but Viognier or a white Rhone style blend of Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier etc also would work nicely. For a little lighter style of wine look to a Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio (same varietal but made in different areas so Pinot Grigio tends to be a little lighter and crisper). If you are a hardcore red wine fan and you want to pair a wine with salmon, look for lighter red wines like Pinot Noir or a Dolcetto. If you still want something a little stronger, a Grenache would also work because it is lighter in tannin. If you are looking for something different still, try any red wines with light tannins and you likely won’t be disappointed.