Monday, March 15, 2010

St. Patrick's Day Pairing!

To kick off the St. Patrick's Day Celebration this week, Cheri Walters, gives us tips on wines you you can elegantly pair with traditional Irish fare and have fun doing it!

Here are three classic Irish dishes along with wines that deliciously complement them:
Corned Beef and Cabbage has long been a favorite on St. Patrick’s Day. Since this dish is traditionally boiled, and therefore on the delicate side, bold reds might overpower. If the beef were roasted, perhaps a zinfandel or syrah might work to support its resulting depth of flavor. However, a pinot noir from Sonoma would do well in bringing acidity to the dish while complimenting it with subtle nuances and earthy flavors.

• Traditional Shepherd's Pie is made with ground lamb, but the Americanized recipe served on Saint Patrick's Day tends to substitute ground beef. Zinfandels are a tried and true partner for Shepherd's Pie because of the wine’s bold raspberry fruit flavors. A smoky Syrah, however, can also be an exceptional companion for the creamy dish.

• Although Fish ‘n Chips originated in England, it is also quite popular with the Irish. The Irish prepare the chips in the thick steak fry style, and like enthusiasts in other countries, eat the meal with salt and malt vinegar. Try an Australian Riesling with this one! The lemony-citrusy qualities of Riesling make it delicate enough to go with the delicateness of the fish. The mouthwatering raciness of an Australian Riesling cuts through the oily richness and heaviness of the battered fish and greasy chips, refreshing your palate with each sip. Think of it as being the equivalent of squeezing a freshly cut lemon on the dish.

With all that said, the hearty nature of Irish food and the jovial spirit of the holiday may create in you a thirst for bubbly. A light and crisp sparkling white wine will certainly lift your spirits and fit the mood of the day. Enjoy bubbles from morning till night if you so desire… sparking goes with just about everything!

Later this month Cheri will speak on wines to serve at a Bridal Shower! To learn more about wine, visit Cheri at !

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