A Perfect Pinot Pairing! Wild Salmon with Potatoes and a Citrus-Herb Vinaigrette

My go-to wine for this salmon dish is always Pinot Noir.  What makes it such a great pairing? Salmon is a rich, meaty fish with savory, yet slightly sweet characteristics.  Wines made from Pinot Noir are light to medium-bodied with fairly low tannins, bright acidity and fresh, red fruit flavors.  Good ones are complex with earthy, savory characteristics.  When you pair the fish with the wine, you experience complementary flavors and textures which enhance each other.  Together,  the wine and the food taste better.... a classic combination!  Take a look at the suggested Pinot Noirs following the recipe.  You can find out where to purchase them at www.wine-searcher.com.  Bon appétit!

Recipe adapted from Country Living Magazine

Serves 4


1 & 1/2-pounds wild salmon fillet, skin removed

salt & pepper

1 & 1/2 pounds potatoes, sliced 1/4" thick and tossed in a bowl with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 lemons, sliced into 1/8" thick rounds

16 pitted olives, such as nicoise or picholine

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons chopped basil

1 tablespoon chopped mint


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Season salmon with salt and pepper on both sides.  Place potatoes in single layer in an 8 & 1/2 x 11-inch pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and layer half of the lemon slices over potatoes.  Lay the fillet over the lemon slices, top with remaining lemon slices and olives and return to oven.  Reduce oven to 250 degrees and roast until salmon and potatoes are cooked through, about 20 - 30 minutes.  Whisk the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, orange juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Stir in basil and mint and drizzle over salmon.  Serve immediately. 


Domaine Sylvain Pataille Marsannay Rouge 2014 ($35)   This French Pinot Noir from Marsannay in Burgundy is quite complex for a lighter bodied wine with a wonderful minerality and an excellent balance of acidity, fruit and tannins.

Domaine Drouhin Pinot Noir, Dundee Hills, 2012 ($50)  This Burgundian family started making wines in the Williamette Valley of Oregon back in the late 1980s.  This wine is well-balanced, fresh and elegant with "French soul, Oregon soil".  

Vina Leyda Pinot Noir Single Vineyard Las Brisas 2013  ($21)  This Pinot Noir comes from a single vineyard in the Leyda Valley of Chile and is delicate and refined with subtle herbal and earthy flavors and a long finish.