March 10, 2023 by Arden Montgomery

Best Wine Pairings for Pub Fare

It’s the middle of March, the world is turning bright green again after a long and extra-chilly winter on Turtle Island’s west coast, and we’re busy putting together our best and most verdant outfits to celebrate the fast-approaching St. Patrick’s day with a decadent feast honoring the lineage of this iconic Irish holiday. 

Irish cuisine is marked by hearty fare characterized by the delicacies offered by the island’s many waterways, rich soils, and emerald pastures. Most of us will be familiar with such notable dishes as fried oysters, beef pie, and colcannon through encounters at our local Irish pub and naturally the first beverage we might think to reach for is a tall and heady glass of Guiness, or a neat serving of brown whisky. You know the argument we’re about to make: of course the world has a varietous selection of delicious wines that will feel as though they were made to match some of these St. Pat’s favorites.

Here are a few of our favorites from the Argaux collection.

Best wine for pub fare

  • 2019 Best’s Great Western ‘Bin No. 1’ Shiraz – $28
    Australia is another English-colonized country populated by many people who can trace their roots back to Eireann – so naturally they make a wine that pairs well with anything cooked in Guiness. This rich Shiraz is classic, dark, and warming with notes of berry and spice in every sip – bold enough to stand up to the meaty flavors of a beef and guinness stew.
  • 2020 Viña Cartin Rías Baixas Albariño – $24
    It’s not Irish – like, really not Irish. One can taste the Spanish coastline in this classic and refreshing Alba, however with a little imagination a passionate chef can stretch the length of the Atlantic that separates the Iberian peninsula from the Emerald Isle to pair this wine with oceanic Irish classics. We want to suggest oysters, however you like them – fried, stewed, or raw with a splash of mignonette.
  • 2018 Domaine Alain Burguet Vosne Romanée – $150
    A Burgundy is a safe bet for many staples of an Irish pub experience. The balance of acidity and tannin makes it a great match for meat-and-cabbage-laden dishes where muted flavors can be easily overwhelmed. Where we really think this particular bottle will shine, however, is during the dessert course – notes of rhubarb, strawberries, and herbs will elevate the experience of a classic Roscommon Rhubarb Pie with cream.
  • 2020 COS Nero di Lupo Terre Siciliane – $30
    An island wine for island food. The ocean is once again invoked in this spicy, fruity, herbaceous bottle, and begs to be matched with lovingly prepared creatures of the deep. If you’re feasting on pub food, try this wine with a thick slice of smoked salmon on soda bread – and have your favorite Irish butter waiting nearby.
  • 2020 Weingut Emmerich Knoll Loibner FEDERSPIEL Grüner Veltliner – $44
    A new bottle in the Argaux inventory, and one for which we are of course very excited! She’s gorgeous, complex, vibrant, offering a balance of fruity and spicy notes chased by an enthusiastic mineral flavor. We thought about suggesting some elaborate dish to try with this Michelin-friendly wine, but truly we feel a simple side would be a better match for this German icon: pair with colcannon – a cabbage and mashed potato recipe – and taste the unfolding magic.
  • NV Gimonnet et Fils Blanc de Blanc Champagne Premier Cru (half-bottle) – $37
    We don’t usually repeat ourselves in articles like these, but this champagne needed to have a moment in the spotlight as a really amazing pair potential for a fish-and-soda bread experience. Classically effervescent, creamy and with a twist of lemon on the tongue, a carb, a piece of fish, and an herbaceous dairy spread this holiday will deliver the most elegant St. Pat’s meal you’ve ever tasted.
  • 2019 Domaine de La Bonne Tonne ‘Côte du Py’ Morgon Beaujolais – $45
    A fruity, well-structured Beau like this one can go far in the world of Irish cuisine – bold but refreshing, it’s able to stand up to a lot of meat, carbs, and funky vegetables you can expect to find over the thatched-roof threshold. This year, let’s pour a class next to a full Irish cheese board topped with Dubliner cheddars, Killeen goats cheese, Cork Gubbeen, and a little apple butter on the side.

Other offerings from Argaux

While wine is our true passion here at Argaux, food is our inspiration, so of course in addition to a cellar full of delectable small-batch vinos we have a few edible treats to offer as well. 

No Irish menu would be complete without a little mustard to dress up your corned beef sando, and we’ve absolutely got you covered. The Pommery Meaux Mustard – a heritage product delivered from traditions founded by the Chanoines monks – promises to provide exactly the punch of flavor you want this St. Patrick’s day.

In stock also are these Rustic Bakery Flatbread Bites which can never replace a really good slice of soda bread, but may add a little extra crunch to the experience of your all-Irish cheese board.

Finally, from our good friend Vanessa Price comes the brilliant publication “Big Macs & Burgundy: Wine Pairings for the Real World,” offering a comprehensive guide to matching fine (and not-quite-so-fine) wines to your daily bread. Included in the book are pairings for salmon, burgers and fries, and even hot cheetos – it takes the mystery out of wine pairing and empowers the reader to let their imagination (and their cravings) run wild. A great gift for yourself, or any wine enthusiast in your life.

Cheers!

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