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Winery-Sage: A Match Made In Ireland

St. Patrick’s Day usually conjures up images of Irish Whiskey, Guinness or green beer (bizarre tradition by the way – sticking food coloring in your beer so that it becomes a radioactive green). If you think that St. Patrick’s Day is only about drinking (probably not too far from the truth for many of our readers – yes, you know who you are), it’s about food as well.

Traditional Irish cuisine is a great match for Guinness but it’s also a great match for wines as well. What’s that you say? You think “traditional Irish” and “cuisine” don’t belong in the same sentence? Well, you could be wrong. Irish food has undergone a renaissance of sorts with an emphasis on fresh ingredients direct from the farm. If your view of Irish food is English only worse, you are in for a big surprise.

We’ve chosen a number of modern Irish meals that pair wonderfully with wine. Keep an open mind and give them a try.

Corned Beef and CabbageCorned Beef and Cabbage

Thoughts of food on St Patrick’s Day usually start (and sadly end) with Corned Beef and Cabbage. Frankly I can’t stand cooked cabbage so we’ll focus on pairing wine with the star of the dish, the Corned Beef.

Pairing wine with Corned Beef is a little trickier than it first appears. Corned beef is made from brisket and, other than a large fat cap across the top, the meat doesn’t have a lot of marbling. Given the bright red color, the first thought might be to go with a big Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah but, often, some of the fat is rendered out in the cooking process. So, avoid the bigger, tannic wines like Cabernet Sauvignon. We suggest:

Irish StewIrish Stew

This dish is often cooked with Guinness, which imparts a rich smokiness to it. Yes, we know this is a blog about wine but man doesn’t live by wine alone and we have a soft spot for Guinness (our black lab is even named Guinness). That being said, there are some great wines to accompany a traditional Irish Stew.

The normal rule of pairing wine with a meal is drink what goes into the food. For example, if you cooked with a Burgundy, drink a Burgundy. This is a wine blog however, and drinking Guinness with this stew may be an easy recommendation (tasty as well) but pretty much screws with the idea of recommending wines. I’d go with a medium body Red with this dish.

Sheppard’s Pie or Cottage PieShepard's Pie

Sheppard’s Pie is traditionally made with ground or minced lamb while Cottage Pie uses ground or minced beef. Both are made with a thick gravy and have a layer of buttery mashed potatoes as a top crust. Try the following recipe with lamb for Shepard’s Pie or substitute ground beef for Cottage Pie.

To me this dish screams rich gravy. The lamb or beef is likely to have a little more fat than the first two dishes so you want something with some tannins. A Cabernet SauvignonSyrah, or a Nebbiolo would be quite tasty.

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Winery-Sage is an online Winery Encyclopedia designed to help you compare wines, wineries, and regions by using a unique database. Cross-reference varietals and the wineries that produce them, as well as discover events sponsored by wineries and associations. We’re not here to sell you anything or pass you off to paid advertisers, just share the love for wine. Discover the world of wine at

About Karen and Ken Geiszler:

Here you can find information on bloggers bios and how the web site came to be. Ken – Brief Bio I am somewhere approaching middle age (which is everyone’s way of saying older than I want to be but I’m not dead yet). Isn’t it ironic that when some one claims to be middle aged, that would typically mean they plan on living to be 110? I can claim to be in my 40’s as long as the blog post gets published relatively quickly. I was born and raised in Northern California, and developed a passion for wine in my late 30s. I am married to Karen, the other principal in KG Web Publications, the partnership that publishes Our last name starts with “G”, hence the name “KG “ works for both of us – no top billing. Marriage is all about compromises. When/if things slow down at work, I would like to get my certificate as a certified wine professional. Karen – Brief Bio Karen is slightly older than Ken (a point that never gets old – not hard to tell which of us wrote the biographies, is it?). She was born in Southern California but moved to Northern California in the mid 80’s. Ken claims it’s because she was looking for him. She ignores him, something at which she has become quite adept. She was a retail manager for a number of years and continued to work through our older child’s school years but became a stay at home mom for the 2nd one. To avoid going nuts, she volunteered at both kid’s schools. Now that the younger one has moved on to college and doesn’t want his parents within a three hour drive of the place, she has moved onto administering the web site and allowing the 90 pound Black Lab to take her for walks. She graciously allows Ken to think that they have compromised on a number of things even though she’s usually had the end game figured out from the beginning. Joint Bio (Updated in late 2017) Karen and Ken have now been married for almost 25 years and to date have still not had a fight since being married, probably because Karen has the patience of a saint. They live in the Silicon Valley area but have had a cabin just south of Yosemite (in the Bass lake area) for roughly 13 years and spend as much time up there as they can. The first 10 years was just relaxation. The last three has been lots of work recovering from damage caused by the Courtney Fire and then continuing on with a remodel. In 2018, they hope to spend as much as a third of their time up at the cabin. They are now empty-nesters with with older soon being married and living in London with his new wife for the next two years and the younger one living in Ann Arbor, Michigan, getting his PHD in Bioinformatics. From where he got the brains is a complete mystery but the best guess is the dog. They are not sure what they did to drive their kids so far away but the only consolation is that both sons claim to want to move back to the Bay Area in the future. Why was Winery Sage born - frankly, it’s too long of a story to post to include in here but if you are interested you can read about it at: Cheers! Karen and Ken

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