Traditional Irish Foods And Wine Pairings

Traditional Irish Foods And Wine Pairings

Instead of writing this in an Irish accent with references to leprechauns and green beer, we’re going to throw a little Irish culture at you. And by culture, we mean food.

Not many of us stateside are familiar with traditional Irish fare, and assume corned beef and cabbage is a favorite on the dinner tables of Ireland. However, this is not the case. Corned beef and cabbage actually comes from the early days of Irish immigrants in America, not Ireland itself. So, we’re going to focus on actual Irish food served during St. Patrick’s Day and what to drink with each dish.

Potato Leek Soup

Rich and soft Yukon potatoes with heavy cream and savory leeks create a velvety soup not to be missed. A Grüner Veltliner has the perfect acidity to cut the weighty creaminess of the soup and refresh your palate between each bite.

Roasted Leg of Lamb

An Irish staple of the highest order. Typically made with Irish butter, garlic, and rosemary to make the meat tender, juicy and packed with flavor. A Rioja does an excellent job of cutting through he fatty richness of lamb and works well with traditional Irish sides like potatoes.

Shepherd’s Pie

If you’ve never had shepherd’s pie, you’re missing out! Originally used in Ireland as a way to get more use out of leftovers, the pie consists of a crust of mashed potatoes on the top and bottom while the interior is filled with a delicious blend of vegetables and spiced lamb. A good Syrah will go nicely with this dish and meld perfectly with the gamy taste of the lamb.

Apple Cake

Similar to apple pie but without the pie filling and more cake. It’s a lighter dish that easily fits in your belly after a hearty Irish meal. The sweetness of a Riesling pairs wonderfully!

And because you’re going to eat it anyway…Corned Beef and Cabbage
A salt-heavy dish featuring pickling spices such as cloves, peppercorn, coriander and allspice. A Cabernet Franc has the elevated acidity and moderate tannins that match well with the rich corned beef.

Or seeing as we’re breaking with our traditional foods idea, a black and tan (half Guinness, half Bass) goes smashingly well with some authentic Irish-American corned beef and hash!

If you’re looking for other recommendations for Irish beer, wine, or spirits, hop in to a Spec’s near you. We can also talk you through other food and drinks pairings. 



Owned and operated by the same Houston family since 1962, Spec’s is a true destination shopping experience. We now operate over 150 stores all over the great state of Texas and offer a large selection of wines, spirits and finer foods.