kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits & lifestyle writer / wine educator

703.203.9463

Guinness or wine for St. Patrick's Day?

Being part Irish, I enjoy a pint or two of Guinness at any time of the year, not just around St. Patrick's Day. ("Guinness is a meal," after all.) But the demand for Guinness is slowing down in Ireland, while the demand for wine--at least with a meal--is increasing. People are starting to get specific, too, when requesting wine--asking for a varietal instead of just a "white wine," for example. Luckily for the makers of Guinness, sales aren't slowing down in other parts of the world, especially North America and parts of West Africa.

If you are making (or going out for...) corned beef and cabbage this weekend to celebrate St. Pat's day, what should you drink with this favored Irish dish? I like to boil mine with cabbage, carrots and lots of pickling spices, and then enjoy it with spicy mustard. If you are preparing it that way and want a red wine to drink with it, then I would recommend either a spicy red (Malbec or Shiraz), or a dry or off-dry Gewurztraminer. The bit of spiciness in those wines will pair with the pickling spices and mustard. You also can't go wrong with a fruity, young Rioja. Remember that corned beef is not as heavy or "beefy" as, say, a steak or pot roast, so a lighter red would be lovely.

Whatever you decide to drink, Happy St. Patrick's Day! Slainte!!!