Pairing The Right Wine with Swordfish Can Make or Break The Meal

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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Swordfish has meaty flakiness and a rich taste that is best paired with an equally flavorful wine. Depending on how you prepare it, selecting the perfect wine to accompany swordfish will take you through a range of possibilities. 

Traditionally, white wine is paired with seafood, but because of swordfish’s complexity, low to medium-bodied red wines and crisp and fruity dry rosés hold up nicely. 


What Type of Red Wine Can You Combine With Swordfish?

When cooked in rich tomato sauce or grilled, swordfish can have dominant flavors that may overpower some wines. Fortunately, there are several red wines that can hold up to swordfish’s rich flavor. 

Light to medium-bodied red wines will pair nicely with swordfish. For grilled swordfish, choose a medium-bodied red wine. 

Wines like Pinot Noir, Nebbiolo, Gamay, or Sangiovese will complement swordfish the best. These wines have refreshing acidity and light tannins, highlighting the swordfish flavors and not overpowering them. 

Red wine being poured from a bottle - Pairing The Right Wine with Swordfish.

Which White Wine Variety You Can Pair With Swordfish?

Because of swordfish’s strong, meaty flavors, many white wines may be too light-bodied and subtle to pair with it. The best white wines for the “steak of the sea” are fuller-bodied whites or white wines with high acidity. 

Unoaked Sauvignon Blanc pairs nicely with swordfish with its crisp acidity and bold aromas. Rich white Bordeaux blends of Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon are full of the body and high acidity needed for swordfish. 

Other great choices are the Spanish Viura wines and Italian Pecorino. These two wines balance body and acidity, which perfectly complement swordfish. 

Chardonnay is also a good choice. Its buttery richness and full body will melt in your mouth when paired with flaky swordfish. 


Can You Pair Swordfish With Rosé Wine?

Dry rosé wines can be the perfect fit for swordfish. Lightly sautéed swordfish in butter demands a wine with bright acidity. Many rosé wines have this needed acidity plus fruit-forward aromas that will complement the fish. 

Pinot Noir rosé and Cabernet Franc Rosé are the best because of their high acidity and bright, fruity aromas. Sometimes rosé from cabernet sauvignon pairs nicely as well. 


Are Swordfish and Sparkling Wine A Good Pairing?

Sparkling wine generally has delicate flavors. Swordfish will overpower sparkling wine. Sparkling wine goes best with lighter fish and shellfish, including oysters and sea bass. 


What Is a Traditional Wine Pairing for Swordfish?

Swordfish is a versatile fish that has rich, meaty flavors and texture. Depending on where you are in the world, wines high in acidity and body tend to be paired with swordfish. 

In France, wines like white Bordeaux, red and white Burgundy, or rosé are popular with swordfish. Sangiovese and Pecorino are preferred in Italy, where the fish is sometimes served with rich sauces. 

Final Thoughts on Pairing Wine with Swordfish

Swordfish breaks the rule of white wine with fish because of its rich and meaty texture. Some red wines like Pinot Noir and Sangiovese pair nicely with swordfish. White wines that are high in acidity and full-bodied tend to work well too. 

These wines include white Bordeaux, Sauvignon Blanc, Viura, and Chardonnay. Avoid sparkling wine with swordfish. Rosé is another great option because of its bright acidity and fruit aromas.