St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day evokes images of a dram of Irish whiskey, a pint of stout. But wine?
Well, yes.

While Irish weather is not particularly friendly to vineyards, St. Patrick himself in the early 400s mentions wine in Ireland. More important, Irish émigrés have left their mark on wineries around the world, from France to South America to California to Australia. At least 14 important French Bordeaux chateaus trace roots to Irishmen. California wineries such as Chateau Montelena and Murphy-Goode toast Irish roots. Irish immigrants were integral parts of the Australian wine scene from the earliest days.

Fast forward to today, and paralleling the United States, Irish wine consumption continues to dramatically increase while beer consumption falls off. Paddy is an oenophile (person who enjoys wine). Who knew?

Corned beef and cabbage is classic St. Pat’s Day food, and a challenging wine pairing because of the saltiness of the beef and sweetness of the vegetables. Cabernet Sauvignons can work, especially ones like YellowTail with significant residual sugar. Shiraz also works—try another Australian such as Rosemount. Both have the added benefit of being value priced.

Like white? Riesling with its fruitiness and dry, crisp nose works, as will Sauvignon Blanc for the same reasons.

As you swirl wine on St. Patty’s Day, a suggested toast: “May your wine glass be ever full. May the roof over your head be always strong. And may you be pulling cork in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.”


• YellowTail Cabernet Sauvignon. Caramel, chocolate; tannins stand up to corned beef. 1.5 l $12

• Rosemount Diamond Shiraz. Spicy liquorice; American oak. 750 ml $8.50

• Moselland Piesporter Goldtropchen Kabinett Riesling. Sweet. brisk acidity. $10