Wine and Salmon – It’s not unusual to pair wine and salmon these days. The contrasting flavors make an interesting balance. Pairing wine and salmon can be as simple as using a pinot noir for a dinner party or as complex as pairing a Cabernet Sauvignon with an array of fruity fruits. However, the two fare better together when they are from the same region. Some winemakers have even made wine and salmon that have both come from the same estate.
Wines that are made from the same vineyard will often be in better contact with one another because of the naturally occurring tannins that exist in the wine. Pinot noir and Cabernet Sauvignon both contain tannins. While some may say the difference is insignificant, many wine enthusiasts argue that the natural differences between the two make each wine unique. This being the case, salmon is an abundant, rich wine that is often paired with butter or cream.
However, there is also a good reason to avoid using just any wine with salmon. This is because the wine should be young and fresh to retain as much as possible of its flavor. Many wine producers are now producing wine that is past their sell-by dates, and this wine is typically lower in alcohol content than the older wines being produced. While it will still have a pleasant flavor, it will no longer contain as much tannin, which can lead to an overly dry flavor and a potentially unpleasant aftertaste. If you are looking for a wine and salmon that have a natural sweetness, then a well-aged, high-quality wine will suit the dish.
Another factor to consider is the acidity of the wine’s grapes and whether these are higher or lower in acidity compared to other wineries. Higher acidity levels will naturally occur when wineries are located closer to the coast, due to the abundance of coastal vineyards. However, wine and salmon that are produced close to the ocean can also have high acid concentrations. A winery that produces a wine that contains a lot of acidities can counteract the natural flavors of the fish by over-acidifying the dish.
Salts, which come in different styles and tastes, are also important when considering wine and salmon. Riesling is considered one of the more versatile wines in the world because it can be consumed with a range of foods, although it pairs particularly well with butter or cream cheese. Riesling is produced throughout the world, although the highest quality is usually produced in Germany. This style of wine is characterized by a sharp salty taste, as well as a soft tannin texture. It pairs well with dishes containing anchovies, salty vegetables, and tomato sauce, among other items.
Other important characteristics of this style of dry wine include notes of smoky, straw, or wood-like tastes. Smoky notes often come from the barrel where the wine is aged. Typically, the smoky notes are most present when the wine is young because as it matures, the smoky character fades somewhat. Straw and wood notes can be a delicious complement to savory foods. Some examples of great food that go great with a smoky dry wine include chicken, tenderloin, brisket, pork, and tuna salad.
Apart from the different textures and flavors, you’ll also find other important characteristics of wine and salmon that can help you determine which wine and dinner pairing basics to use. Many experts recommend using a delicate wine, such as a Chenin Blanc, in conjunction with bold dishes that are acidic, such as tomatoes or onions. Tart cherries can also be paired with acidic white wines, such as Zinfandel or Chardonnay.
A perfect wine and salmon meal will always have fresh, raw ingredients. A traditional salmon dish is served with fish roe, a salty fish sauce, along with top quality salmon eggs, and a variety of green vegetables. When you make the roe yourself, you can incorporate the likes of artichoke hearts, mushrooms, asparagus, spinach leaves, or baby carrots. You can also add herbs, such as thyme, sage, oregano, or curry leaf. For the eggs, you can use a variety of smoked cheeses, Swiss or low-fat cheddar, and parmesan cheese. Bon Apetit!