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Wine for St. Patrick’s Day

Sure, the traditional beverage of St. Patrick’s day is beer.  Usually it’s a frothy pint of Guinness.  And if it’s not Guinness, it’s most likely dyed green.   And there are some who love their St. Patty’s day beer and wouldn’t consider parting with it for anything.  But others, faced with a pint glass of green beer, would prefer to opt for something else.

Why not try wine for St. Patrick’s Day?  Many wines match just as well as beer–if not better–with traditional Irish foods.  And if your friends tease you for not following tradition, just remind them that there’s nothing very traditional about green beer, either.  Here are some St. Patty’s Day food and wine pairings that will help you decide what to make or order tonight:

Corned Beef and Cabbage with Pinot Noir: Even though this dish has a recipe as a highly traditional Irish food, it’s not.  The Irish were introduced to corned beef once Irish immigrants to the U.S. used it in place of bacon.  But traditional or not, corned beef and cabbage is a long-standing–and delicious–part of St. Patrick’s Day.  The best complement to this dish is the earthy flavors and velvety texture of Pinot Noir, which will complement the salty, meaty flavors, not fight with them for dominance.  Try one from Sonoma County.

Bangers and Mash with Zinfandel: This dish, sausages and mashed potatoes, is popular all throughout England and Ireland.  If you’re eating traditional pork sausages, you’ll want something fruity to contrast.  Try a Zinfandel.

Irish Stew with Bordeaux: Irish stew is a simple, traditional dish of lamb (or mutton) boiled with the root vegetables of Ireland: carrots, onions, and, of course, potatoes.  With it, try a red Bordeaux: its complexity of flavors goes nicely with the simple, straightforward ones of the stew.

If your tastes lean towards wine no matter the occasion, try these pairings.  But don’t forget to wear green!

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