Erin go bragh! Or, at least Erin go dinner, maybe have a glass of wine…🤷♀️ (Hey, we could all use a drink these days.) In honor of next week’s celebration of St. Patrick and all things Irish, here are our picks for the best wine to go with your Irish-influenced dishes on any budget:
Dish: Corned Beef & Cabbage
Tasty and affordable, this sparkling rose from New Mexico could not be a better buy or a better partner for cabbage, which is famously hard to pair. Bright and fun, its jumps out of the glass with notes of tart strawberries, cherries, and flowers. The finish is dry but lush, with the perfect amount of acidity to make it refreshing.
While Ambonnay is widely regarded as pinot noir country, in Champagne, R.H. Coutier has done wonders for chardonnay in this challenging, clay-rich terroir. This Brut Rosé is a deeply colored example. It is racy and beautifully made from pinot noir and chardonnay, and offers notes of red fruit, brioche, and the complex soil tones of Ambonnay fruit. The same pairing principles apply here–the bubbly texture of this wine is a great compliment to cabbage, while the pretty red fruit offers an alluring accent to the hearty beef.
Dish: Bangers and Mash
Mashed, baked, or even boiled, potatoes are ideal for the acidity and richness of this Burgundy style Chardonnay. This is an excellent value with aromas of white blossoms, racy acidity, green apple and lemon curd flavors and just a touch of creaminess.
Frank Family Vineyards Carneros Chardonnay 2016 ($$$)
Hailing from acclaimed vineyard sites, the 2018 Carneros Chardonnay offers a creamy full body complemented by fresh, persistent acidity. Layers of yellow apple, lemon curd, baked pear, and toasted brioche lead to a balanced and lasting finish of vanilla and baking spice.
Dish: Shepherd’s Pie
Rick Cooper and Rodney Alex, together with third-generation farmer Doug Rafanelli and winemaker Guy Davis of Davis Family Vineyards, they produce between 500-1000 cases each vintage of this Zinfandel blend, sourced from grapes grown on a hillside vineyard 365m above sea level. The wine is full-bodied, yet smooth, with notes of blackberry, black cherry and earthy blackcurrant. Rosemary and black pepper round out the flavor notes, balanced by freshness and supple tannins, a perfect match for the bold, savor richness of traditional shepherd’s pie.