Pairing Alaskan Sockeye Salmon With Pacific Northwest Wine

Two wine glasses and bottle of pinot noir.
You've probably heard all your life that white wine is the proper compliment to seafood, but the exquisite taste of ruby-colored Alaskan sockeye salmon makes me want to reach for a bottle of Oregon or Washington pinot noir. White wine doesn't deliver the punch that good sockeye needs, but when sockeye waltzes onto the dance floor, pinot noir follows in perfect step.

Next time you take out a sockeye filet with intentions of grilling it in the same old way, consider poaching it in pinot noir. Besides the fish, you'll need butter, water, freshly-squeezed lemon juice, black pepper, kosher salt, and wine.

After patting the salmon filet dry with a paper towel, drizzle it with lemon juice and sprinkle it lightly with the salt and pepper. Bring the wine and water just barely to a simmer in a skillet on the stove. Slip the filet skin-side down into the skillet and poach until a meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fillet of sockeye salmon being trimmed on cutting board.
After removing salmon from the skillet and placing it on dinner plates, turn up the heat and let the remaining liquid boil until it's reduced to about one third of its original amount. Pour the sauce over the sockeye and finish with cracked black pepper immediately before serving.

Naturally, you'll want to pour yourself and your dinner guests a glass of the same vintage of pinot noir that you used to poach the sockeye. I like to serve this over a bed of kale salad with blueberries glazed in fireweed honey on the side.

This recipe is simple, but it will cause your dinner guests to be in awe of your culinary skills even if your normal kitchen efforts have failed to dazzle.

Feel free to contact us for further suggestions concerning seafood preparation methods. We love talking fish here at Tanner's almost as much as we love a perfectly crafted sockeye salmon dinner.

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