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Jan 30, 2014 10:49 AM

Wine to go with salmon with a mustard sauce?

I'm going to go to a dinner that will have salmon with a mustard sauce. I believe it will be a strong mustard sauce.
Picking wine for salmon is easy. The mustard sauce is a curve ball, though.
I'm thinking making a German spatlese riesling.
Any other ideas?

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  1. I don't know why anyone would bury a nice piece of salmon in a strong mustard sauce. In any case Chardonnay pairs well with mustard sauce, but not with salmon IMO. So dry Riesling would be my first choice, pinot noir second.

    BTW in general I don't partake of off-dry Rieslings. Just shopped the Internet for Alsatian wines available to me here in France - really dry Riesling and off-dry Geuwurz. Will let you know about Chateau d’Orschwihr in a few months.

    1. chardonnay if it's a "creamy" mustard,
      riesling if more "spicy"

      The key is balance of flavors and mustard can be quite overwhelming... hopefully you can adjust the amount of sauce, starting with a slight brush of the sauce over the fish > taste it with your wine, and titrate the sauce on future nibbles from there.

      3 Replies
      1. re: TombstoneShadow

        Chardonnay with salmon ???

        Choose carefully as salmon is a fatty fish. You need a wine with an edge, really good acids - probably unoaked in Chardonnay.

        Personally I steer away from Chardonnay these days. In my cellar of 300 I have only 13. I only bought three this year, and they are blended with Viognier.

        I much prefer to match with dry Riesling, Albariño, Gewurz, Sauv Blanc, Jurançon, Mediterranean white blends.

        1. re: collioure

          chardonnay is one of the very best matches with salmon, at least to my palate... as well as numerous other seafood varieties. Doubly so if a smoke, cream, and/or garlic element is involved in the preparation.

          As for chardonnay not connecting with fat, at least for me it's a go-to match for cream, several cheeses, and even pure butter. The match to my palate isn't so much one of "cutting" the fat, as it is a pleasing textural and flavor matchup.

          To each his own.

          1. re: TombstoneShadow

            I hear ya, but good acids are the key to the match-ups you cited, esp cream.

      2. In the FWIW mode, I'd opt for a German or Alsatian Riesling -- drier than a Spätlese, but not bone-dry either -- or possibly an Alsatian Gewürztraminer . . . but I'm STILL trying to wrap my head around "salmon with a mustard sauce."

        4 Replies
        1. re: zin1953

          Dijonnaise sauce, Jason. Hollandaise with mustard dialed in.
          I like your suggestion of Gewurz.

          1. re: collioure

            >>> Dijonnaise sauce, Jason. <<<

            D'oh! Yeah, my bad -- I was thinking more along the lines of a spicy mustard sauce that one might put on a pork loin . . . my bad.

            1. re: zin1953

              Hey, it could be anything.

              Not my choice or yours obvioulsy.

          2. re: zin1953

            I've got a 1994 Schleret gewurz I once promised to drink with my favorite wine pimp, but he's never around any more. Maybe this would be a good time to drink it.
            I had a Belle Pente gewurz that was delicious and would probably go well with this as well, but I think I'm out of them now.
            What about a Heidler pinot blanc? It sees wood, so that changes the texture of the wine.
            All I'm told is that the entree will be salmon in a mustard. The chef is usually quite good about mixing flavors. I usually eat breakfast there and the omelets don't sound like much but end up being delicious.
            Edit: CellarTracker! shows I bought two of the Belle Pente Gewurz, so I should have a second. I think I want to try the Heidler too.

          3. I'm not especially knowledgeable about wine (my 2 cents - get some vinho verde. Why? Cuz I like vinho verde. Can't find any vinho verde? Neither can I, dammit)

            But I do know that there is a lot of variation in what could reasonably be called a 'mustard sauce' - enough that it could easily affect the pairing. Do you have any more info to go off of?

            2 Replies
            1. re: cowboyardee

              Seriously? You can't find any Vinho Verde???

              Well, I suppose that's one more reason to move from Pennsylvania, but looking here -- -- I find that the PCLB offers (rather shockingly) 40 SKUs of Vinho Verde . . . .

              1. re: zin1953

                I recently did move from PA... to nebraska. I could find VV easily enough back in pittsburgh.

                Here in Omaha, I found some at trader joe's, which was fine but they stopped carrying it after summer. And some over-priced sickly sweet disappointment from whole foods. No dice at other supermarkets. The most upscale wine store I've been to didn't carry any (that's strange... right?). That said, I've been fairly lazy and passive in my search, and there's gotta be some place in town carrying the good, old [er.. young], inexpensive but highly drinkable stuff I remember. Just haven't found it yet.

            2. I'd go for a Gavi di Gavi. Enough acid for the salmon but with enough roundness for the mustard.