Wine Writing Team on February 21, 2020 0 Comments St. Patrick’s Day libations are usually reserved for green beer and whiskey, but if those aren’t your beverages of choice, you also have wine options. When you think of clinking glasses and celebrating St. Paddy’s, wine usually isn’t what comes to mind, but believe it or not, there are a few Irish wines you can try in the spirit of St. Paddy’s Day. History Wine making isn’t a new concept in Ireland. Though disputed by some historians, there are records of Celtic monks first planting vineyards as far back as the 5th Century. The problem is the climate. Since Ireland is a damp, cold climate, the variety of grapes that can grow is limited because of weather conditions. While the wine industry in Ireland is fairly young, the Wine Development Board of Ireland and the European Commission now recognize Ireland as a wine producing country. Types of Irish Wine There are two types of wine that have been significantly influenced by Irish heritage: Mead — a traditional honey wine made with pure honey, vine fruit, and herbs, mead is a medium-sweet wine that dates back to medieval times. It was known as an “everyman” type of wine because it was enjoyed by everyone from peasants to noblemen, and popular at wedding celebrations. Lusca — a traditional Irish wine made specifically by Llewellyns Orchard that started in 2002. This dry red wine has notes of Burgundy and Cabernet. Five Irish Wines You Need To Know About (Courtesy of: Ireland Before You Die) 1. David Dennison David Dennison is a small-scale Irish wine-making enthusiast, based out of County Waterford. The farm, located in the Southwest of Ireland, is family-run and also home to a small cider orchard. There’s little to be known about the business online unless you follow Dennison’s Twitter, where they post weekly photos straight from the farm. The vineyard has been known to have as much as 2,700 plants of grapes, including Rondo (red), Solaris and Bacchus (white) and Pinot Noir. 2. Thomas Walk Winery Thomas Walk Winery has been owned and run by German wine-lover, Thomas Walk, since the 1980s. Specializing in varieties of the rondo (red wine) grape the winery has organic, natural and environmentally friendly business practices. 3. Bunratty Mead This old-school wine is produced today by Bunratty Mead and Liqueur Co. in County Clare. A traditional honey wine made with pure honey, vine fruit, and herbs, mead is a medium-sweet wine that dates back to medieval times. It’s also sold in stores and online by the Celtic Whiskey Shop. 4. Moineir Fine Irish Fruit Wines Moineir Fine Irish Fruit Wines from Wicklow Way Wines are made from 100% Irish produce, grown on the local lands of Ireland’s countryside. Available in strawberry, raspberry and blackberry flavor, these fruity wines are bursting with taste and delicate aromas. 5. Lusca Irish Wines Lusca Irish Wines come from Llewellyns Orchard, a small-scale winery run by fruit alchemist David Llewellyn in Lusk, County Dublin. The offering consists of reds such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Dunkelfelder and Rondo. Lusca wines can be purchased at a select number of specialty wine cellars in Ireland. While Ireland may seem like an unexpected place to find wine, many of the world’s popular wineries have an Irish Influence. Whatever region your wine is coming from, making sure it’s stored at just the right temperature in a wine refrigerator will ensure that you’re enjoying it at its best quality. If you’re looking for something different for St. Patrick’s Day, wines from Ireland are worth the investment. If you find they are harder to get your hands on though, try California’s Irish Family Vineyards which makes blends named Blarney Red and Kilkenny Red sure to inspire any St. Patrick’s Day party.