A St. Patrick’s Day Wine Cheat Sheet

Saint Patricks Day green clover ornamentGood advice never gets old. And based on the emails I received following my St. Patrick’s Day blog of 2010, the advice contained therein turned out to be pretty good for wine lovers.

So, in the spirit of not trying to re-create the wheel, we present that blog from five years ago…

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Tonight, there’s a good chance you’ll be donning a silly-looking green hat and heading out with friends to celebrate a “holiday” that you probably know very little about.

And that’s okay. I mean, do we really need a reason to go out and party?

On St. Patrick’s Day, we may indulge in certain dishes not seen the rest of the year, and many people will wash them down with an ice-cold beer — laced with green food coloring, no less.

But what if wine is your preferred adult beverage? St. Patrick’s Day fare can present some pairing challenges.

With that in mind, I urge you to print this edition of “Food and Wine Pairings” and take it with you you when you head this evening. Think of the list that follows as your personal St. Patrick’s Day wining-and-dining cheat sheet.

  • With Corned Beef and Cabbage — Historically, this dish is more American than Irish (the Irish usually eat cabbage with pork), but it has become the “go-to” dish for restaurants on St. Patrick’s Day. The wine to drink? A nice Pinot Noir, preferably from the Russian River area of Sonoma County. But don’t obsess on the sub-appellation; virtually any Sonoma County Pinot will work.
  • With Irish Stew — Cabernet Franc, or a French Bordeaux with a significant portion of Cab Franc in the blend, makes an ideal pairing partner.
  • With Bangers and Mash — Pork sausages with a bit of spice call for a fruitful wine with some spice of its own. Try a Syrah-based wine from the southern Rhone (such as Chateauneuf-du-Pape) or a Zinfandel from California.
  • With Fish-n-Chips — Almost any fried food matches beautifully with dry Riesling. Many American Rieslings are made in an off-dry style, so look for bottlings from Germany or France that are completely dry in style.

Embrace these pairings, and you won’t need the luck o’ the Irish to have a good meal and a fun evening.

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Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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