Saturday, March 15, 2014

5 Ways to Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with Wine

Well, it's that time of year to raise a glass, dress in emerald green and have an abashedly rip roaring time. Whether you are Irish or not, St Paddy's day always promises a good time. The traditional beverage choices are Guiness, Irish Whiskey, or any beer died green, but if you are a wino like me fear not there are options.

1. Go Varietal; Ok so no white wine in the world has that leprechaun green shade, but there are quite a few varieties that have a light green tinge to them. For example a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, or my favourite Austrian native Grüner Veltliner. But if French wine is all you drink try a Muscadet from the Loire Valley. Or maybe you are feeling adventurous this St. Patrick's day and want to try a lesser known wine type, give an Albariño from Spain a try. Bonus most of these wines have "green" flavours too like lime, green grass, and green apples, and they are very versatile with food. Which makes them perfect for any snacks that may be laid out at your local St. Patrick's day party. Don't forget how important a good base of food is when drinking copious amounts.

2. Spritz it up; A white wine spritzer is always a refreshing choice whether you opt for Sprite, Soda or Tonic water. Add a little splash of a green liqueur like Midori, Sour Apple, or Bols Melon and there you have it a green white wine spritzer that will put any green beer out there to shame. Some of my favourite wines to use as the base to a spritzer are Pinot Grigio, Riesling, or Chenin Blanc.

3. Think Environmentally; Many wineries are going green these days whether it be by farming organically, or biodynimacally. This is a great option if you are a red wine fan. You may not have the blarney colour but you can proudly say "I am helping to ensure my great grand kids will be able to get just as sloshed in the St. Patrick's days of the future because I am doing my part to help out the planet." Some great wineries that are "green" and can be found in most local liqueur stores include; Stratus, Kendall Jackson, Nicolas Joly, Concha y Toro, and Loimer.

4. Go Irish; It seems just about every Country in the world makes wine these days and Ireland is no exception. Downside the production is very small and you will no doubt have a hard time finding one to buy if you live outside of Great Britain. Most of the wineries are located in the South West part of the Island near Cork. White grape varieties like Sauvignon Blanc are more widely planted although you can find some red as well. Bunratty Castle, Longueville House, and Llewellyn are some names to keep an eye out for if you are committed to drinking Irish wine.

5. Embrace the day; Many don't realize that St. Patrick was actually from Britain, he brought Christianity to Ireland and that is why he is celebrated. But come on, for most of us it's a day to dress up, get a little silly, and have some fun. So do just that, enjoy this great holiday by drinking whatever floats your boat and make no apologies. Just be safe and don't drink and drive. Now let's raise a glass and toast "In all this world why I do think, there are 5 reasons why we drink: Good friends, good wine, lest we be dry, and any other reasons why."
Happy St. Patrick's day!

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