Pacific Rim
March 7, 2022 | wine | Pacific Rim

Wine on St. Patrick’s Day? Why Not

Not that anyone needs an excuse to drink wine, but if you aren't a fan of Irish Beer, then why not enjoy some wine on St. Patrick’s Day?  

If you're not of Irish ancestry or don't know anyone who is: St Patrick's Day is a religious and cultural celebration that is held on March 17th each year. Over the past few decades, St. Patrick's Day has become a day of celebration for many people, even those who are not Irish. In the United States, St. Patrick’s Day is not an official holiday, but many people look forward to the day’s celebrations with family and friends and possibly even a parade. While many people go out to drink the traditional Irish Guinness beer, some people prefer to celebrate with wine – which is perfectly alright!  You can enjoy all the Irish delights at home in the company of family and friends. Be sure ye are wearing o’ the green or ye might be pinched!

The traditional St. Patrick’s Day food includes corned beef and cabbage, Irish soda bread, and shepherd’s pie. But there is no absolute rule that one has to eat these traditional Irish foods or even drink Guinness beer. If you're celebrating, you can have any food you like on St Patrick’s Day and drink whatever you like.  Even though there is not a holiday wine specific to this “unofficial holiday,” drinking wine on St. Patrick’s Day is not looked down upon.

St. Patrick's Day Wine

For those who do not like the taste of Guinness beer, which can be quite bitter, here are some wine and food pairings that will be a delight for your party friends and family:

Riesling is one of the most versatile white wines on the market, especially when it comes to food pairings. The wine is said to be food-friendly, outgoing, and comes with a range of flavors and acidity. Riesling rocks the world of food as it can associate itself with a range of selections from mild appetizers to spicy Indian curries. If you are inviting people who are fussy about their wines and food pairings, you certainly won't go wrong with Riesling as it covers all the bases. In general, the light to medium Riesling goes very well with spicy foods, Mexican cuisine, and hot chicken fingers. In addition, Riesling will also accommodate a variety of salads, poultry dishes, and desserts. To ensure that everyone is happy, buy different types of Riesling based on their boldness.

Chardonnay is one of the most popular wines on the market. It is available as a dry medium- to full-bodied wine with moderate acidity and tannins. Depending on where it is from, Chardonnay usually has some type of fruity flavor, but it is not overly sweet. Chardonnay pairs well with foods cooked in butter, like seafood, crabs, shrimp, lobster, and shellfish. In fact, almost any food that is cooked with butter will pair well with Chardonnay, even some desserts, baked foods, fish, vegetables, and pasta in cream sauce. If you, by chance, are not able to get Chardonnay, two good substitutes are Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.

Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied acidic red wine with tannins. It generally is high in alcohol and has intense flavors that enable it to pair well with rich and hearty foods. Because Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied wine, it should not be paired with light foods as the wine will completely overwhelm the taste of the food. Dishes that go well with Cabernet Sauvignon include meat entrees, veggies like portobello mushrooms, certain aged cheeses, steak, lamb, and duck. Finally, to really enjoy the food, do not gulp down the Cabernet, but sip it slowly as the high acidity and tannins will cut through the food and enrich your taste buds.

Sparkling wine is another choice. If you are going to be out and about on St. Patrick's Day and celebrating another occasion (a St. Patrick’s birthday, perhaps?) at the same time, why not go with sparkling wine? There are dozens of types of great sparkling wines, and they can be easily paired with a variety of snacks, appetizers, and light foods. Foods that go best with sparkling wines include cheeses, crackers, charcuterie, veggies, and seafood, like shrimp, salmon, oysters, or even a light burger. 

Spending St. Patrick’s Day At Home

If you are going to be staying at home and ordering something quick like pizza, burgers, chicken wings, doner kebab, etc., then here are some things you should consider when selecting a wine on St. Patrick’s Day to go with them.

If the food is oily and fatty, select wine with high acidity to cut through the meat; you may want to consider Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Riesling. Do not forget to pair side dishes, like veggies, salsa, and French fries. with a light wine, like Riesling, Chardonnay, or sparkling wine.

If you select spicy and hot foods, like chicken wings with hot sauce, then you also need to match them with a potent wine, like Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, or Chardonnay.

If you aren’t sure of the foods that will be served, you will not go wrong with a nice bottle of bubbly. Sparkling wines, in general, are good all-around beverages that can pair nicely with almost any food.

Wine on St. Patrick’s Day? If you are considering affordable quality wines, consider the below.  They will not disappoint your holiday wine St. Patrick's Day celebrations. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call the staff at Pacific Rim at 503-863-5454 for knowledgeable and timely answers.  March is Taste Washington Wine Month – 10% off all Washington wines with a $25.00 flat shipping rate.  Offer ends March 31, 2022.

Finally, remember, if you are going to be out and about drinking on St. Patrick’s Day, either get a non-drinking designated driver or take a cab home.  And … May the road rise up to meet you! [Safely] (Irish blessing)


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