Corned Beef and Cabbage paired with Riesling, Chianti or Cotes du Rhone

One of the most popular Irish dinners is corned beef and cabbage. While some may prefer to drink an iced-cold beer with their corned beef, true-blue wine lovers would rather not.

Corned beef and cabbage is a difficult meal to pair with wine. There are so many factors to consider. Do you lean toward the traditional “what to drink with Irish meals” wine?  Or do you lean toward a wine that pairs best with the foods themselves – the saltiness of the red meat and the overpowering spices and cabbage? With so many flavors competing in one meal, it makes the wine you choose that much more important.

Ingredients Serves 8
2-3 lb corned beef brisket
4 large or 10 new potatoes, thin skinned, quartered if large
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 small head cabbage, cut into small wedges


Place corned beef in large pot or Dutch oven and cover with water. Cover pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes per pound, or until tender. Alternatively, do the same on low in a slow cooker for 6-8 hours.

Add potatoes and carrots and cook until the vegetables are almost tender; add cabbage and cook for 10 more minutes, until everything is tender. (If you’re using a slow cooker, remove the meat and let it rest; add the vegetables to the broth, turn it up to high and cook for 20-30 minutes, until the veg are tender.) Pull the meat apart with forks or slice it across the grain; serve with the vegetables, covered in broth.

Because of the strong taste of this meal, and the cut of the beef you will want to pair it with a wine that has some acidity to cut through the fat.clerget-cotes-du-rhoneblue fish riesling

If you are a white wine drinker, a Riesling would be our top choice.  Rieslings tend to be lighter, which will even out the heaviness of such a complex meal. The sweetness of the Riesling can also cut the saltiness of the meal- but you will want to choose a semi-dry or dry Riesling as a sweeter Riesling will be too sweet and will compete with the saltiness, not compliment it. Bremer’s carries a variety of Rieslings to pair with your corned beef and cabbage, but our pick for this particular recipe is Blue Fish Riesling. Urban Riesling.

For red wine drinkers, stay away from a heavy wine with tannins. Tannins will not pair well with the saltiness of this meal and will cause a bitter aftertaste.  Choose a lighter red wine with a bold flavor- but nothing too sweet. An Italian Chianti or a French Cotes Du Rhone are greatcompliments as both feature light fruit notes and some acidity. Our top pick is Clerget Cotes du Rhone.

Which ever wine you choose, enjoy!

Recipe and Image Credit: Babble