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Wine of the Green
Copyright 2002 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved. Originally printed March 12, 2003. For more information go to

Among all the seasonal questions that arise about wine, one that is sure to fill my E-mail box comes at this time of year, St. Patrick's Day.

If it's really more of an American custom than Irish to celebrate the March 17 feast day of Ireland's patron saint with Irish music and hearty fare, never mind: This happy holiday has just about everyone wearin' o' the Green.

What does all this have to do with wine? Simple: The traditional feast of the season, corned beef and cabbage, can be an iffy wine match. Corned beef, like ham, is salty and full-flavored, and the dry red wines that go so well with beef and lamb may come across as sour and tannic when they're paired with St. Paddy's favorite.

My No. 1 choice for the dinner du jour, frankly, is beer - preferably a tall, cool Guinness with a creamy head thick enough to float a farthing. But if wine it's to be, then let it be a fresh, fruity red with snappy acidity - a Beaujolais, maybe, or a Barbera or Mourvedre - or a fruity and possibly off-dry white, a Riesling or Chenin Blanc.

For a little extra fun, unrelated to wine, I'll leave you today with a link that I sent along at this same time last year. If you're surfing from the office, you might want to turn down your speaker volume before you click the first tune on Songs of Ireland.


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