Skip to Content

Smoked Salmon Wine Pairing – The Best Wines for Smoked Salmon

Smoked salmon is one of the most beloved dishes in the world.

Its unique flavor, texture, and versatility make it a hit for any occasion.

Whether you’re serving it up with crackers or cream cheese, or adding it to your favorite dish, smoked salmon always adds that luxurious touch.

But when you’re ready to take your smoked salmon experience up a notch, why not pair it with some exquisite wines?

It may be intimidating at first but don’t worry – I am here to help!

In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about smoked salmon wine pairing so that you can create an unforgettable meal!

We’ll discuss what wines are best suited for each type of smoked salmon as well as which flavors complement and contrast each other in order for you to achieve the perfect balance between taste and aroma.

So, what wine goes with smoked salmon?

The best wines to pair with smoked salmon are Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Chardonnay. These varietals offer the perfect balance of acidity and fruitiness needed to complement the smoky flavor of smoked salmon. Additionally, a light Pinot Noir or sparkling wine can also work well.

Smoked Salmon

Why Consider Serving Wine With Smoked Salmon?

Serving wine with smoked salmon can be a great way to enhance the flavor of both components. Not only does it make for an exciting gastronomic experience, but it also adds depth and complexity to any meal.

The umami-packed smokiness of salmon pairs exceptionally well with wines that have mineral or herbal notes like Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir.

For those who enjoy sweeter wines, pairings like Riesling or Gewürztraminer are excellent choices as their acidity will balance out the salinity of the fish and bring out its full flavor potential.

No matter what type of wine you choose, serving it with smoked salmon makes for a truly magical culinary combination!

The Best Red Wines For Smoked Salmon

Red Wine

Red wine and smoked salmon is an interesting combination that works incredibly well due to their contrast in flavors. If you’re looking for a red wine pairing, light-bodied red wines with some acidity are your best option.

Pinot Noir pairs nicely with smoked salmon as it has enough tannins and structure to cut through the rich smokiness of the fish while highlighting its delicate flavor notes.

A lighter-style cabernet sauvignon will also pair well as it can bring out the subtle sweetness in the smoke.

For something a bit different from traditional French varietals, consider Italian Barbera or Italian Primitivo which usually offers bright fruit flavors and balanced acidity to work nicely with this dish.

It will be lighter than cabernet but more substantial than pinot noir.

The Best White Wines For Smoked Salmon

White wine

White wines are some of the best wines for smoked salmon, as they often have a crisp acidity and bright fruit character that pairs well with the delicate flavors of this fish.

Specifically, Sauvignon Blanc is a great choice – its herbal and grassy notes contrast nicely with the smoky flavor of the salmon.

Other white wine choices include Pinot Grigio, which has excellent minerality and freshness to it; unoaked Chardonnay for its citrus characters; Chenin Blanc for its soft acidity; Riesling for its sweetness that helps balance out the saltiness of smoked salmon; Viognier for its floral aromas; or Gewürztraminer with its spicy notes.

No matter what white wine you choose to pair with your smoked salmon dish, make sure it has enough body to stand up to fatty foods like seafood – otherwise, it will get overwhelmed by them!

The Best Rosé Wines For Smoked Salmon

Rosé wine

Rosé wine is a great pairing for smoked salmon. It’s light and fruity, with a touch of sweetness that cuts through the salty and smoky flavors of the fish. Some of our favorite rosé wines include:

  • Dry Rosés such as Grenache/Syrah blend from Provence, France have a good balance between acidity and fruitiness which makes it a great match for smoked salmon.
  • Austrian Blaufränkisch or Zweigelt Rosé are slightly fuller in body but still dry with tart red berry flavors. These wines go well with fatty fish like salmon because they stand up to the oily texture.
  • Pinot Noir-based rosés from Oregon tend to be more full-bodied, earthy and robust than other types of rosé so it can easily cut through richer dishes like cream sauces or gravlax (cured salmon).

Other Wines To Pair With Smoked Salmon

In addition to the red, white, and rosé wines that have been mentioned as great pairings for smoked salmon, there are other styles of wine that can work nicely as well.

Sweet wines like Rieslings and Gewürztraminers can provide a nice contrast to the salty notes of smoked salmon.

Sparkling wines such as Champagne and Prosecco also make great accompaniments to a plate of smoked salmon; their crispness helps to lift the richness from this dish while still providing enough body to stand up against it.

For those looking for something unique, lightly oaked Chardonnays offer an interesting alternative with their subtle nutty notes which blend beautifully with the creamy texture of salmon.

5 Tips For Picking A Wine

Picking the right wine to pair with smoked salmon can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are five tips for picking the perfect pairing:

  1. Consider the flavor profile of the dish you’re serving. Smoked salmon is usually served as a light and flavorful appetizer, so make sure you pick a wine that won’t overpower it.
  2. Be aware of sweetness levels. If your smoked salmon has sweet glazes or accompaniments like capers or onions, opt for an off-dry or semi-sweet white wine instead of a dry one.
  3. Think about boldness and acidity as well – if your dish is intense in flavor, consider pairing it with wines that will cut through its richness with their high acidity levels, like Sauvignon Blancs and Pinot Grigios; on the other hand, if your dish is milder, reach out for fuller varieties such as Rieslings or Pinot Noirs.
  4. Match regional cuisine – look for wines from similar climates to where you live – not only will this help create successful food and wine pairings more often than not, but also support local winemakers!
  5. Don’t forget about sparkling wines – they’re often overlooked when picking something to pair with seafood dishes such as smoked salmon but actually work exceedingly well! Prosecco pairs particularly nicely in this regard due to its slightly acidic taste (just remember not to go too bubbly!).

Smoked Salmon Wine Pairing: 3 Ways To Go About It

Once you’ve identified the best types of wines to pair with smoked salmon, you can begin to narrow down your choices. Here are three ways to go about it:

  1. Consider whether the smoked salmon will be served as an appetizer or main course. If it’s an appetizer, choose a lighter wine like Pinot Grigio or Riesling; if it’s a main course, opt for something more fuller-bodied like Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon.
  2. Think about what flavors will be accompanying the smoked salmon when pairing a wine – do you have creamy dill sauce? A citrus glaze? Or perhaps some type of herb rub? Pick a wine that will complement any underlying flavors in order to bring the dish together nicely.
  3. Lastly, don’t forget about texture! Smoked salmon is typically quite delicate and silky, so try picking a white or sparkling that has similar light and airy notes – such as Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand or Prosecco from Italy – in order to create contrast without overpowering the dish itself.

Serving Temperature And Glassware

With all wines, serving temperature is important.

For white wines, you want to chill them slightly in the fridge before serving.

Generally speaking, most white wines should be served between 40-50°F (4-10°C). When it comes to reds and rosés, they should be served at a slightly warmer temperature.

Red wines are best if served at around 60-70°F (15-21°C). Rosé wines can either be chilled or served at slightly cooler than room temperature.

Glassware-wise, when it comes to smoked salmon dishes, you’ll want to use larger glasses that have a wider opening so that the aromas of the wine can fully come out while sipping on your glass of vino.

It’s also important to make sure your glasses are sparkling clean as any dirt or residue will detract from the taste of your wine and ruin its flavor complexities.


Smoked salmon is a wonderful way to start the holiday season and the perfect accompaniment for any special occasion. There are so many different types of wines that pair wonderfully with smoked salmon, it can be difficult to choose just one.

So, what wine pairs well with smoked salmon?

The best wines to pair with smoked salmon are a dry white such as Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, or Chardonnay. These wines have the right acidity and minerality to cut through the richness of the salmon, while still enhancing its flavor.

When in doubt, go with something light-bodied like a Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc. If you’re looking for something more unusual, try an aged Semillon or a dry Riesling.

The key to selecting the best wine for your smoked salmon is to think about flavor profiles and food pairings first. Consider what flavors will work well together, ask your local sommelier for advice, and don’t be afraid to experiment!

Remember that there’s no wrong answer when pairing wines with smoked salmon – everyone’s palate is unique and there are countless delicious possibilities!

jenny happy muncher
 | Website

Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.