Selecting a Dry White Wine Cooking for a Tasty Salmon Dish

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

Reader Disclosure Disclosure: We may earn commissions for purchases made through links on our site. Learn more on our about us page.

Have an old bottle of Pinot Grigio or some leftover open bottles of white wine from last weekend? Consider cooking with it. More specifically, Salmon and white wine are a natural pairing. The flavors of the fish match the acidity of most white wine labels. 


Is there a difference between cooking wine and drinking wine?

Drinking wine, in simplicity, is the bottle you buy from a store. This is a beverage that is provided for the pleasure of the guests. Cooking wine is when that bottle you bought turns to vinegar a few days later. 

Otherwise, the less expensive labels are a solid sauce-making vintage. Obviously, the top-dollar wines will be saved for sharing with colleagues and friends. 

A wine bottle with some kitchen utensils - Selecting a Dry White Wine Cooking for a Tasty Salmon Dish.

What is a good dry white wine for cooking?

You’re heading to the store for a solid white wine to wipe up a light chicken dinner salad with fresh bread. You’re in need of good cooking wine and a label to serve with dinner. Here are a few cooking wines too with you Cali – White Zinfandel. 


  • Pinot Grigio
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Vinho Verde
  • Sake
  • Grüner Veltliner


Can you use white cooking wine for Salmon?

Yes, there are over a dozen recipes that call for a white wine sauce. For instance, Marth Stewart has a Roasted Salmon with White wine sauce.



1 (1.5 lb.) Salmon fillet

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1 cup of dry white wine

I tablespoon chopped fresh chives


Directions: Preheat the oven to 450° Fahrenheit, place a salmon fillet in a buttered baking dish, and season with salt. Roast the fillet for 15 minutes. 

The sauce is made using a medium. Add flour, then cook, whisking, for a minute. 

Add wine, bring to a boil; reduce heat, and cook until liquid thickens, about eight to ten minutes. Stir in chives and season with salt and pepper. Serve over salmon fillets. 


When a recipe calls for dry white wine can you use cooking wine?

When looking for a cooking wine to make a sauce for Salmon, think the drier, the better. Here is a list of white wines that are good for cooking with:


  • Pinot Gris
  • Pinot Blanc
  • Sauvignon Blanc
  • Sancerre


What is the best dry white wine for cooking Salmon?

In this humble writer’s opinion, Pinot Grigio seems to be the overall highest mentioned cooking wine for Salmon. The strong flavor from the fish complements the full-bodied nature of this vintage. 

Smoked Salmon or grilled Salmon is not a problem for Pinot Grigio to hold up to. In addition, the higher acidic levels will aid the sauce in opening the flavor of the fish. 

Final thoughts on Cooking Salmon with Dry White Wine

Keep the recipe simple. Lighter-bodied white wines are the best for cooking with salmon fillets. Use the citrusy acidic notes to complement the flavors of the fish itself, and select a wine accordingly. 

Spend money on the wines you are going to drink, not the wines you are going to cook with. Lower costing bottles cook just as well as high-priced labels.