Swordfish steak or grilled Swordfish pairs best with full-bodied white wines like Chardonnay and Grenache Blanc. Meanwhile, Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Chianti Classico, or a Rosé are also great choices, especially if Swordfish is served with tomatoes or meaty vegetables like eggplant.
While very meaty, Swordfish does not have a fishy taste or a strong flavour profile like Salmon, Tuna or Mackerel. Instead, Swordfish has a slightly sweet taste. Some say Swordfish tastes like milder Salmon, but not as rich as Swordfish is not as oily as Salmon.
Best Wine with Swordfish
Chardonnay & Swordfish Steak Pairing
A full-bodied Chardonnay is an excellent wine pairing with grilled Swordfish Steak as the notes of vanilla and toast complement the char marks on the steak. Meanwhile, flavours of apple, peach, pear, tropical fruit and butter improve the neutral taste of your Swordfish.
Chardonnay will also be excellent with baked, broiled, roasted and poached Swordfish due to this white wine’s refreshing and vibrant flavours.
Grenache Blanc & Swordfish Steak Pairing
Grenache Blanc is a full-bodied white wine that delivers toasty, creamy and dill-like flavours along with tangy notes of apple, pear and lime zest. Thick and meaty, Swordfish steak requires a full-bodied white wine to hold up to its dense texture. So even though Swordfish is mild in flavour and low in fat, lighter wines, like a Pinot Grigio, would vanish when pressed against the protein heft of a swordfish steak.
Low in fat, Swordfish is not going to be a ‘juicy steak.’ Instead, you’re left with this huge slab of tasty protein. Swordfish steak, not being heavy in fat, is also dry. Even worse, Swordfish should never be eaten raw and should always be cooked all the way through. The reason Swordfish needs to be cooked is for fear of mercury poisoning. Raw Swordfish has the potential to contain a lot of mercury, while cooked Swordfish would have safer leves. As such, Swordfish may often be overcooked by someone woried about serving it raw, making it drier, tougher and a chore to eat.
Fortunately, the fruit flavours of the Grenache Blanc offer lots of refreshment against the protein-heaviness of Swordfish. Meanwhile, the toasty oak flavours of Grenache Blanc deliver lots of complementary flavours towards any charred flavours of the meat should it be grilled.
Pinot Noir & Swordfish Pairing
Lighter to medium-bodied reds are what you should typically reach for with Swordfish as they will not overwhelm its lean but meaty flavour. Should your Swordfish be wrapped in bacon or have a peppery crust, that’s when you could explore bolder red wines. But since Swordfish is incredibly lean and mild in flavour, it’s typically best to serve up light and fruity red wines.
As a simple swordfish steak, or if the Swordfish is served as a kebab, Pinot Noir has the perfect level of fruitiness to elevate the swordfish flavours while not overwhelming the meaty swordfish flavours. There is also an earthy element to Pinot Noir that would complement any mushrooms or side dishes containing beans, root vegetables or mushrooms.
Chianti Classico & Swordfish With Tomatoes Pairing
When swordfish dishes call for tomato sauce, Chianti Classico is the wine to reach for. Balanced with acidity, Chianti won’t clash with the acid in the tomatoes, where many other wines would succumb and end up tasting like aluminum. With Chianti, you also have some tannin, which will merge perfectly with the meatiness of the Swordfish and makes the fish shine for the star of the show that it is.
Chianti is a medium-bodied red wine that is tart, spicy, a touch spicy, and savoury with herbs. Thus, it brings plenty of old-world rustic charm to this meal. The rustic flavours also mean that this isn’t a wine for everyone, especially North Americans who prefer red wines with a little more polish.
Rosé & Swordfish Kebabs Pairing
Swordfish Kebabs are the perfect way to balance the meatiness of Swordfish with the end-of-summer flavours of grilled zucchini, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and onions. Rosé, with its bracingly dry and crisp fruity flavours, adds some zing to your kebabs, and ensures each flavour stands out as you work your way through the rainbow of skewered colours.
Rosé is a dry wine that bridges the gap between the acidity of white wine and the fruity richness of a red wine. This quality mirrors Swordfish perfectly, as it also lives in the realm where it’s a touch too meaty lighter white wines and a touch too light for bolder red wines. Always food-friendly, Rosé will pair with just about anything, making it perfect with Kebabs due to the variety of options possible with this summertime classic.