On March 17 we all pretend we are a little Irish. We wear green and “Kiss me, I’m Irish” pins. It is also the day where drinking Guinness, green beer and Jameson is the norm and corn beef and cabbage is served in every restaurant.
The Irish are well known for their great beer and fantastic whiskey, which pair well with corn beef and cabbage, but what about wine? There are no wines to speak of that are from Ireland, so we need to look elsewhere to find wines to pair with our traditional St. Patrick’s day fare.
The first question to ask is: How is your corn beef and cabbage prepared? Is it boiled in traditional fashion, or is it roasted with herbs, in a new creative fashion?
Boiling corn beef and cabbage is the traditional method of cooking, and with this stew-like method, the flavors of both the beef and cabbage meld together. The challenge of pairing wines with this dish is finding something that will stand up to the fatty meat, and work well with the cabbage at the same time.
The chefs of the world are always coming up with new and innovative ways to cook traditional fare, and corn beef and cabbage is no exception. One of my favorite ways that I have seen this dish evolve is an oven-roasted corn beef, encrusted with garlic, herbs and dijon mustard, paired with sauteed cabbage. This gives the dish a new flavor profile, more robust and flavorful meat, and sweeter style cabbage, so now we would want to pair it with different wines.