St. Patrick’s Day is often celebrated with a pint or two, but what if you love wine? Here to chat with us about the best pairings for Irish food and classic dishes is Natalie MacLean who offers North America’s most popular online wine classes. Hi Natalie.
Is there a wine that pairs with corned beef and cabbage?
This begs the question: Can we skip the corned beef and cabbage and just have wine? My Irish grandmother is probably turning over in her grave.
Traditional matches for this meal usually include Irish stout, like Guinness. But what about wine?
Corned beef is salty and cabbage can be skunky, so you’ll avoid those wines with a strong sulphur smell or taste, as well as big red wines with heavy tannins and oak.
Your best bet is a zesty white wine, such as this Gruner Veltliner from Lenz Moser.
Lenz Moser Prestige Grüner Veltliner
What about traditional pub fare like fish and chips?
We want to cut through the glorious fried fat of the fish and chips with a zesty white wine like the Gruner that has the natural acidity to refresh our palates or go with a crisp clean chardonnay from a cool climate like Wakefield Chardonnay.
Wakefield Winery Estate Label Chardonnay 2021
Padthaway Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia
It’ll have your Irish eyes smiling. Though others in the pub may wonder why you’re getting all fancy with those fish and chips.
These wines also pair well with all the “green food” that comes out in the spring like fresh spring peas and asparagus that will soon be on our plates.
What about Irish stew?
This one-pot wonder, traditionally made with lamb or mutton (sheep that are more than two years old), onions, potatoes and herbs (thyme, parsley, bay leaves) dates back to the 1800s. Lots of deep, rich flavours – so you need a wine of equal depth of flavour.
I’d recommend the Coyam from Emiliana in Chile. It’s an organic red wine blend of mostly syrah and carmenere. This wine is smooth and full-bodied with aromas of cassis and mocha. It would be perfect with grilled Portobello mushrooms or burgers.
Emiliana Coyam Organic Red Blend
Rapel Valley, Chile
Would this wine also work with Shepherd’s Pie?
Yes indeed! This was another dish to soften tough meat, often beef or minced mutton, seasoned vegetables, and a potato crust.
I also have a lovely Pinot Noir from Quails’ Gate. It’s smooth and medium-bodied with notes of cherry and fresh earth. It would be terrific with this dish.
Quails’ Gate Estate Winery Pinot Noir
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia BC V.Q.A., Canada
What about potato-based dishes?
Potatoes were a staple of the Irish diet, and why many of my relatives left the country to come to Canada in the 19th century. Colcannon is a classic comfort dish with mashed potatoes, that darn old cabbage again and butter or cream. For this gorgeous starch-fest, I suggest a rich, round buttery chardonnay like this one from Cupcake.
Cupcake Vineyards Chardonnay
California, United States
It’ll also pair well with potato dumplings, potato hash and potato bread or boxty, from the Irish phrase arán bocht tí, or “poor-house bread.”
Is there any Irish dish that doesn’t pair well with wine?
Yes… Lucky Charms – cry in your beer!
Which of these wines would pair well with your upcoming memoir, Wine Witch on Fire, that’s available for pre-order now?
Definitely the Gruner Veltliner with its notes of hope, optimism and with any luck from my Irish grandmother, the book’s message of hope, justice and resilience will travel far and wide.
The book’s subtitle is Rising from the Ashes of Divorce, Defamation, and Drink Too Much. Believe it or not, it has lots of humour and a happy ending.
Posted with permission of CTV.