Perhaps it’s the Irish red head in me, but I’m going rogue this St. Patrick’s Day. Don’t get me wrong, I love a great beer just as much as the next person (after all, we’re offering a great beer flight and $4.00 black-and-tans in the shop at our St. Patrick’s Day tasting), but I’m thinking, why not try something new this year? Why not wine?
We put our wine-o and foodie crew to work to come up with some not-so-traditional pairings for traditional St. Patrick’s Day dishes. Give them a go for your day of green, and who knows, you might find a pot of gold at the end of that rainbow!
Corned Beef and Cabbage? Pick a nice Pinot Noir.
An Irish-American version of the traditional bacon and cabbage, corned beef and cabbage takes its place as the King of St. Patty’s Day Plates. Created by brined beef boiled with cabbage, vegetables, and traditional seasonings, corned beef and cabbage pairs best with a Pinot Noir or a Grenache which brings fruit and acidity to the dish, but not overwhelmingly so.
- Our recommendation: Melville’s 2008 Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir
Sure it’s from famous Santa Rita Hills, but more importantly, it brings to the dish a aromatics of black rasberry, black cherry & fig mixed in with spice nuances of pink peppercornss able to stand up to but not bowl over your corned beef and cabbage.
Bangers & Mash? Bring on the Syrah!
Traditionally an English dish, these bold and spicy sausages and mashed potatoes need a bold and spicy wine. A Syrah or Zin with their combination of fruit and spice will match up nicely here, and complement the flavors in the dish.
- Our recommendation: Jaffurs 2009 Santa Barbara County Syrah From our local Syrah specialists, Jaffurs, the 2009 SBC Syrah offers a chewy mix of spice, wild berry, pepper and blackberry fruit ending with a long, zesty finish that will leaving you looking for a second sausage.
Fish & Chips? Lighten up with Pinot Grigio.
There’s nothing wrong with serving a crowd pleaser on a holiday. Lighten it up with a fresh Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc or a Riesling that cuts through the oils with citrus and mineral tones.
- Our recommendation: Di Bruno’s 2008 Pinot Grigio
Straight from our local Santa Rita Hills, this Pinot Grigio is fresh, bright and bold with forward citron and minerals and a strong finish.
Shepherd’s Pie? Hook a Shiraz.
This traditional meat pie made with beef mince and a crust of mashed potatoes may have started from humble beginnings, but today it graces the plate in many a pubs. If digging into this “formerly known as” cottage pie, try the bright fruit and spice of a Shiraz or Syrah to stand up to the crust.
- Our recommendation: Mollydooker 2008 “The Boxer” Shiraz
With 91 points from the Wine Spectator, this Shiraz offers a bright and jazzy cherry, pomegranate and spice flavors with strong aromas, density, but without the weight to balance even the heaviest of pies.
Potato Soup? Cool it off with a Chardonnay.
Soup for supper? Yes please! We recommend topping off the simplicity and sublime of traditional Irish potato soup with the butter and oak of a full bodied Chardonnay.
- Our recommendation: Rombauer 2009 Chardonnay
We tasted this in the shop at our special Fat Tuesday tasting the other day, and it was a definite crowd favorite. We recommend its rich palate of peach, apple and tropical fruit mixed with oak undertones to bring the brightness and butter to your dish.
Until next time wine fans…cheers!