St. Patrick's Powerful Palate Demands Equally Powerful Pairings


Don't put yourself in a pinch over your Mar. 17 wine and food pairings.
Earlier this week, Tribune News Service reporter Fred Tasker published a story which offered a few suggestions for what wines to drink with St. Patrick's Day's typically swarthy food.
Tasker began his story with a narrative about a wine tasting he was doing a few years ago around St. Patty's Day in Miami.
“We were sipping and sloshing and spitting, eager to tease out the subtlest scents from the delicate wines,” Tasker wrote. “Then happy hour happened, and they brought out a mammoth platter of corned beef and cabbage for us. Needless to say, the tasting was over.”
The Irish holiday's normally heavy foods don't elicit high-brow intimations, leaving oenophiles to wonder if a civil solution is to be found.
“The sulphorous smell of cabbage can obliterate the aromas of even the most redolent wines,” he wrote. “Which raises the question: What kinds of wines could go with Irish food?”
Tasker launched into a list of appropriate pairings, beginning with the quandary of Irish coddle.
“A stew of leftovers – including sausage, bacon, potatoes and carrots – would go nicely with a red wine with a little heft, maybe an Italian barbera,” he wrote.
Should your Patty palate lean more toward battered fish and french fries Tasker recommended quaffing a California sparkler, noting the bubbles should gently scrub the dish's heavy-handedness.
Only a wine of considerable constitution could stand up to pasties, the beef, onion and rutabaga dish bursting with earthiness.
Fear not, Tasker wrote – rescue your refinement with a sturdy glass of Australian shiraz.
Tackling fisherman's pie may sound like a daunting task – a creamy mix of fish, shrimp and mushrooms – but Tasker said the pairing is like shooting fish in a barrel.
The dish calls for “a crisp white wine to cut through the richness – maybe a lean sauvignon blanc,” he wrote. 
For dessert, only the toughest wines can stand up to the oft-rich offerings of a St. Patrick's Day menu – Guinness cake, whiskey cake and chocolate stout cakes have all been known to make appearances on the backend of an already hefty meal of beef and brawn.
“Here you need a powerful wine like a red port,” he said.
Tasker ended his article with a list of a dozen recommendations, including a 2009 Dow's Late Bottled Vintage Port, a 2013 Davis Bynum sauvignon blanc, a 2013 Paringa Estate shiraz and a 2013 Luca Bosio Vineyards Barbera d'Asti.

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