Walk through any restaurant kitchen in the morning and you will inevitably see someone breaking down a salmon. They are smoked, baked, grilled, poached, souped, ceviche, crudo and pizza-ed. Occasionally we serve them on a bagel.
But what to offer for beverage suggestions?
Aside from a cup of coffee to go with the bagel, schmear and lox, there are any number of choices that can work really well with this versatile fish – a lot depends on how it is cooked and plated.
Salmon is a large fish, dwelling in the ocean except when it travels up fresh water rivers/streams to spawn. The part we eat is the muscle, and large fish such as this have much less connective tissue than land animals, as such there is less fat in the meat, and this means it can cook much quicker. It is also “lighter” when compared to beef and other meats. Therefore, when looking to pair with certain wines, it is important to consider what will work best with the various factors involved in the palate.
Important factors with salmon:
Salmon is a fish, and therefore the weight and fat content would almost always mean starting with something in the white wine category.
Texturally, though, it is medium in its overall weight on the palate (this may be obvious or not, but remind your guys that weight refers to the texture and feel in the mouth – not to actual pounds of fish).
Often grilled or cooked like a steak, so the smoke and char from the grill will allow it handle oak.
ABOUT THE Author
Brian Mitchell runs The New England Wine Academy, and is responsible for the content of this blog. With 30 years of drinks industry experience, Brian has learned a few things, but everyday he is learning more. This blog helps to bring that knowledge to you.