Swordfish grows up to around 10 feet long, which makes for a rather meaty fish. Often sold in steaks, Swordfish does not have a fishy taste or strong flavour like salmon, tuna or mackerel has. Instead, Swordfish has a slightly sweet taste, with a lean protein-fueled texture. Full-bodied white wines like Chardonnay and Grenache Blanc are white wines to reach for as they will hold up to Swordfish’s rich protein flavours. Meanwhile, Lighter reds like Pinot Noir, Chianti Classico, or a Rosé are wise choices, especially if Swordfish is served with tomatoes or hearty vegetables like eggplant.
Chardonnay & Swordfish Steak Pairing
A full-bodied Chardonnay is the most recommended white wine with Swordfish as its full flavour, and round body matches the weight of a swordfish steak. Chardonnay is full of vanilla, tropical and buttery flavours, which improves the taste of the neutral swordfish flavours.
If you are grilling your swordfish, the vanilla flavours will complement any char marks on your steak, while the tropical flavours will offer ample refreshment.
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 while 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’. Thus the fruit flavours of the wine 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 get away with a bolder red, such as a Cabernet Sauvignon. 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 whole shebang. There is also an earthy element to Pinot Noir that keeps this pairing interesting if you are looking for a little depth to your wine.
Chianti Classico & Swordfish With Tomatoes Pairing
When swordfish dishes call for tomato sauce, and 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. If you are looking for fun in the sun, maybe move on to our next pairing.
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 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 has a reputation for being cloyingly sweet due to its pink colour. However, this is a dry wine that bridges the gap between the acidity of white wine, and the fruity richness of a red wine. This qualirty mirrors Swordfish perfectly, as it too lives in the realm where it’s a touch too meaty for most white wines, and a touch to light for the majority of red wines. Always food-friendly, Rosé will pair with just about anything, making it perfect with Kebabs due to the variety of options which are possible with this summertime classic.
If you are a man and are embarrassed about drinking a pink drink in front of the boys at the annual softball league BBQ, you probably won’t care once you taste this winning combination of food and wine. And heck, you can always just toss the wine in a red solo cup if it bothers you that much.