A salmon is a salmon, right? Not necessarily. And that’s why pairing wine with this particular fish can be a bit difficult. It really comes down to how the salmon has been prepared. Here’s a quick course on the types of salmon, and how you can make your favorite salmon dish sparkle with the addition of just the right wine.
Pacific salmon come in five varieties, each with a different oil content. This means that each of these fish cook differently:
King salmon is the heaviest and thickest, and have the second highest oil content of the Pacific salmon varieties. That makes King salmon ideal for grilling.
Red salmon are smaller, and bright red in color. These are the oiliest of the salmon, which means they can be grilled, slow poached or pan seared.
Silver salmon has metallic-looking skin with a delicate pink flesh. It isn’t very oily, which means sautéing is the preferred cooking method for this fish.
Pink salmon is the most delicate and lowest in oil, but it has a delicious, velvety taste that’s ideal for flash searing.
Chum salmon is what you’ll likely find in a can, and is ideal for meatloaves and salmon patties.
Here on the East Coast, there is only one variety of salmon – the Atlantic salmon. Atlantic salmon is the most popular farmed fish, and has a more delicate flavor than Pacific salmon, which makes it ideal for newcomers to the world of salmon. It also has a lower oil content, so it’s ideal for flash searing.
And of course, the moment you’ve been waiting for – the wines that are perfect complements to your salmon dishes. If you’re cooking Pacific salmons, celebrate with California wines (any origin will do, but it’s fun to keep the fish and wine from the same region). Pan-seared dishes do well with unoaked Chardonnays, or white wines made with Falanghina grapes are also excellent choices.
Poached salmon dishes hold up well to a fuller-bodied wine, like a Cabernet, and grilled offerings pair well with Syrah and Grenache wine varieties. Choose an East Coast Riesling or Pinot Grigio to go with your Atlantic salmon dish.
Of course, finding just the right wine to perfectly partner with your salmon dish is as easy as visiting Bremer’s Wine & Liquor on Commercial Drive in New Hartford. There, you’ll find the wine that’ll make your fish dish pop! Visit us today to find out more about this and other wine and food pairings.