St. Patrick would have been amazed at all the fuss over this day; what with green beer and the wear’n of the green. However, many white wines come in green bottles so there’s no need to tint the wine green, which is at least one reason to switch from beer to wine. Traditional fare for St Patrick’s Day includes corned beef and cabbage, lamb roasts and Irish stew. Which wines will pair best with these traditional dinners?
White wine drinkers will find the corned beef and cabbage their best bets for a white wine, assuming they favor this dish. Since everything in the pot is boiled, a lot of the elements that would have paired with red wines are at a decided disadvantage. A white wine will go much better here, particularly a Sauvignon Blanc, which is a great food-pairing wine. The same wine that stands up to asparagus, a notoriously hard to pair vegetable, will work with cabbage and the highly spiced meat. An Irish Stout would still be a better choice, just don’t tart it with any green dye please.
Lamb dishes provide a much broader range of wines to complement the dinner. Pinot Noir is always a good choice, either an Old World Burgundy or a more tannic and bigger New World Pinot. Since there are few New Mexico Pinot Noir wines available, and none under twenty dollars, a better choice would be a Tempranillo, Sangiovese or Nebbiolo.
Casa Abril Vineyards and Winery makes outstanding versions of Tempranillo and Sangiovese. The 2011 Casa Abril Sangiovese is still a wee bit young, but the Sol de Abril Tempranillo is drinking exceptionally well right now. Vivac Winery also makes very good versions of these grapes and their 2009 Nebbiolo is breathtaking.
Other good choices are available at Black Mesa Winery, Estrella Del Norte Vineyards, Ponderosa Valley Vineyards and Winery and Luna Rossa Winery in Deming. All of these grape varietals grow extremely well in New Mexico and what would a traditional New Mexico St. Patrick’s Day celebration be without New Mexico wines?