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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 -- https://www.lcbapps.lcb.state.pa.us/w... -- 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.

              1. In addition to wine, I'd strongly suggest you try a well-made wheat beer with this dish as well. A german hefe-weizen or good american micro-wheat will match both the salmon and mustard here.

                Try the beer with and without an added spritz of fresh lemon.

                1. Rose Champagne. Pairs with the salmon and the mustard spiciness.

                  Even Pinot Noir or a Burgundy. Especially if the salmon is grilled.

                  Chadonnay doesn't have enough flavor intensity to take on the dish, IMO.

                  Riesling wouldn't be my first choice, but if it has a bit of RS, will act as a foil to the spiciness.

                  1. Dryish riesling, white burg, chardonnay, I didn't think of gewurz but if its on the spicier side it would work nicely. Champagne/Rose Champagne. If you want to go red go pinot/red burg.

                    1. As much as I love good chardonnays, I don't think I'd like it here. Gavi was my first thought. Alsatian Gewurz would also be good. Maybe Sancerre.

                      1. I went with a 2002 Medici pinot noir. The dinner included a lecture and the topic was William and Clark. The Medici vineyard is about 50 miles southeast of where Lewis and Clark spent their winter before heading back east.
                        Actually, I wanted to find an Oregon Gewurz, but got tired hefting boxes and decided to go with the pinot noir. It clashed with the mustard sauce. I wrote up the dinner here.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: SteveTimko

                          Thanks for the report back! Love that $5 corkage.

                          BTW, I'm glad you didn't "splurge" and bring that bottle of gewurztraminer you've been saving. Dinners like these are good opportunities to experiment with popularly-priced wines and learn your favorite pairings. Then you can take your "better" bottles to meals where you're more certain of the food and wine match.

                          1. re: SteveTimko

                            Oh, it was smoked salmon in a mustard cream sauce. Quite different problem.

                            1. re: SteveTimko

                              Sounds like some inexperienced folks. Smoked salmon is certainly "salmon" but with a very different flavor profile than when it's not smoked. And "mustard cream sauce" probably needs a sparkling or a riesling.

                              1. re: SteveTimko

                                Lewis and Clark, not William and Clark.

                                1. re: SteveTimko

                                  Steve, also meant to say that the salmon in the picture has easily 3x the amount of sauce needed to serve. Looks like they put it on with a ladle...

                                  Such preparations aren't very wine friendly to begin with ... all we really want from a sauce is a flavor note, a hint, to harmonize with the basic food and the wine. Instead here is "sauce as soup". With such an overwhelming serving, it's hard to gauge the food and wine match.