St. Patrick’s Day is fast approaching and if you find a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow, I hope there is plenty of wine waiting there for you. I have never really thought much of pairing wine with Irish dishes until my visit to the green isle several years ago. Ireland has some famous brands like Guinness, Smithwicks, and Jameson, but they are not wine.
Can I get Irish wine?
The European Union has officially listed Ireland as a wine producing country, but currently the production is small and located mostly in the southern region. Kinsale, one of my favorite cities to visit, has several vineyards in the hills nearby. They mostly produce white wines and some rosé. In restaurants in Cork, you might find Irish wine on the menu, give it a try.
What wine pairs well with Irish food?
Comfort food often resonates with us when we think of Irish food. One of my favorites was their beef stew that is usually made with some type of beer or whiskey. For this type of meal, I would choose the 2011 Rutherford Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon. This is available at most all stores in York County for $18.99. This wine’s aroma of berry, currant and dried herbs tempts your palate and after you taste it you will find balanced rich tannins.
Sheppard’s pie is another Irish comfort food that can be made with beef or lamb and a great wine pairing would be a Petit Sirah from Rock Wall. It has aromas of raspberry, dark chocolate and salt. After tasting it, I tasted spice and pepper with a silky finish and a bit of earthiness. This wine is available for $19.99.
Corned beef and cabbage is a dish with a lot of different flavors. A bold red wine would be too much for this dish. I have two wine suggestions for you and you decide which you like best. If you enjoy red, I selected a Pinot Noir. The 2014 Carnelian Project from Santa Lucia Highlands in California has a great choice for $13.99 and is available in Hanover, Shrewsbury and the East Market St. York Store. At first taste, it is intense with flavor of red ripe fruit, black cherry plum and a bit of spice. Allow this wine to breath about 30 minutes before serving.
If you enjoy white wine, I would try the Dr. Loosen Red Slate 2014 Riesling. This is a dry Riesling grown in the red slate soils of Mosel, Germany. It has well balanced with fruit and herb aromas. Wine Advocate has given this wine 90 points and is available at Hanover, Shrewsbury and the East Market St. York Store for $13.99.
If you enjoy Irish cheese and soda bread, the sharp Dubbliner cheddar cheese would be a great choice. I would pair Chardonnay with this cheese. Domaine des Malandes Cuvee Amandine Chablis 2014 is a French Chardonnay for $14.99. It has a refreshing minerality with refreshing lemons, grapefruit and green apple taste. It is very dry with a hint of honey at the finish.
Have a Winefastic jolly ole time and may the luck of the Irish be with you.