Inside Stories

Get Your Irish Up with Fruity, Spicy, Red Wines

Several friends have asked me for wine recommendations to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.


Even I drink a beer or two on St. Patrick’s Day, which is Friday, March 17.

Still, a female friend insisted. She said she’d been invited to St. Patrick’s Day party where the traditional corned beef and cabbage plate would be served and she wanted to bring a bottle of wine.

Also, she said she prefers red wine.

In pairing red wines with corned beef, which is a tasty and salty dish, the main objective is to find balance on the palate so that one taste doesn’t overwhelm the other. You don’t want a sour wine, acidic wine or a mineral one that adds saltiness. You’d be puckering up over the table!

A fruity or spicy wine is the best option.

That’s why a nice, ripe Zinfandel or a fruity-styled Pinot Noir are good matches for corned beef.

Here are a few good ones that are full of zest, energy and fruity flavors to enrich the corned beef and all the trimmings.


The Federalist 1776 Zinfandel, $15.99 – Dark cherry fruit and soft frame.

Freakshow Zinfandel Lodi, $19.99 – From the Michael David Winery (CA) where Zin is “sin-fully” made in a plush, sweet, elegant style.

Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel (Lodi), $15.99 – From a consistently top-notch Zin house.

Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel Contra Costa County, $16.99 – Juicy, robust flavors and a soft texture make it a good party drink.


Eluoan Pinot Noir, $18.99 – Winemaker Joe Wagner’s lush Oregon-style comes through on this easy-drinking red.

Murphy-Goode Pinot Noir, $12.99 – Three Irish partners started this California winery over a game of liar’s dice. What’s not to like?

Willamette Valley Whole Cluster Pinot Noir, $21.99 – Full and rich on the palate, with a velvety texture.

La Crema Pinot Noir (Monterrey), $16.99 – Good strawberry and cherry flavors hit home on this easy-drinking red.

Meiomi Pinot Noir, CA, $17 – It’s become an absolute fruit bomb over the past couple of years since Joe Wagner sold the brand to Constellation.

If you must drink a white wine on St. Patrick’s Day, it’s got to be a racy, spicy, fruity GewurzstraminerLa Belle Winery of Amherst, N.H., as a sweet one for $17.99 that will do the trick. Others names to consider are Pacific Rim from Washington State ($11.99), and Ravines Wine Cellars of Fingers Lakes, N.Y. ($21.99).

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