Favorite Pairings & Recipes: Pasta with Salmon and Cream Sauce

Occasionally we find a pairing that simply makes the wine and food a treasured “Hand in Glove” experience. When we find these rare pairings we will post a companion page that provides the food recipe so everyone can experience these exceptional wine and food pairings.

Wine pairing: Rajat Parr Wine Club Semillon Never Say Never Yount Mill Vineyard 2019


    12 ounces fresh or dried Capellini, Linguini, Spaghetti, or other thin pasta
    1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
    1 cup fresh shelled petite peas or thawed frozen petite peas
    1 cup heavy (whipping) cream
    2 cups (about 12 ounces) flaked cooked salmon
    1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano Reggiano
    Freshly ground white pepper
    Freshly grated nutmeg
    1/4 cup minced fresh parsley, preferably flat-leaf Italian type

    Cook the pasta in 4 quarts boiling water until al dente, about 12 minutes for dried or 2 minutes for fresh.

    Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a sauté pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the peas and sauté until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes for fresh peas or 1 minute for thawed. Add the remaining 6 tablespoons butter and the cream, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally until the butter melts. Add the salmon, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, and salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Simmer until the cheese melts and the salmon is heated through, about 2 minutes; do not allow to boil.

    Drain the pasta and place it in a heated bowl. Pour the sauce over the pasta, add the parsley and gently toss the mix well. Serve immediately and pass the remaining 1/2 cup cheese at the table

    Serves 3 or 4 as a main course, 6 as a starter.

Comments: We have been eating this salmon dinner for many years and usually pair it with a nice white Burgundy wine; however, paired with the Rajat Parr Wine Club Semillon Never Say Never Yount Mill Vineyard 2019 it was simply fantastic and discernibly better than the Chardonnay pairing. On occasion we have reduced the butter and substituted one can of cream of mushroom soup for the heavy cream, but each time we did it our comment was always “stick to the original recipe”.

A quick glance of the recipe will easily tell you this is a VERY RICH salmon dish and a good pairing should require lots of fresh acidity. The Semillon wine we paired with it here had less acidity than most of the Chardonnay we have paired with it in the past, but the flavors of the Semillon really dove-tailed perfectly with the salmon and Parmesan flavors of the dinner and we thought the pairing was simply a MEMORABLE combination.

Recipe source: James McMair’s Salmon Cookbook; Chronicle Books; San Francisco, California.