Sláinte: Four wine and beer pairings to go with your Irish stew or roast

John Wilson: Three bottles of wine and a Galway Bay red ale

When I was growing up, one of the few dishes I refused to eat was Irish stew. My mother made it in an authentic style, but I found the full-on flavour of mutton layered with plenty of greasy fat completely inedible. These days lamb has replaced mutton, and maybe too my tastes have matured, so I love a bowl of braised lamb, whether in a curry, Spanish style with beans, or in a simple Irish stew.

I really like the look of Mark Moriarty’s Irish Stew, and the Dingle pies too, so I may give one of them a go this weekend. If you want to keep it Irish, a glass of stout would provide a good match, as would the red ale featured here. Galway Bay Brewery also has a range of powerful imperial stouts and porters that these would certainly stand up to the robust flavours of Irish stew.

If you prefer wine, either the La Tremenda featured here, made from Monastrell grape, or the La Suerte de Arrayán have plenty of smooth, warming fruits that would go very nicely with lamb stews. The Suerte de Arrayán is from, which sells wine at cost price to subscription members. It offers great value for money.

However, I suspect many of you will celebrate our national day with a roast leg of lamb. In which case, you could serve Rioja Reserva, one of our national favourite wines, or bring out your finest Bordeaux. However, if you are prepared to experiment a little, the Capezzana featured here would certainly go nicely with a roast of any kind.

Galway Bay Brewery Bay Ale Red Ale

4.4%, €2.50-€3 for a 330ml can

Lightly hoppy with rich, nicely balanced smooth caramel and malty fruit finishing dry. You could serve this with a variety of foods including Irish stew.

From: online or good off-licences.

La Tremenda Monastrell 2021, Enrique Mendoza, Valencia

13.5%, €19.95

Juicy, ripe dark fruits with savoury notes of black olive and a soft, rounded finish. Perfect with lamb stews or bean casseroles.

From: Blackrock Cellar; Martin’s, D3; Redmond’s, Ranelagh; Neighbourhood Wines; McHugh’s, D5.

La Suerte de Arrayán 2018, Mentrida

14.5%, €20.92 (down from €32)

A beguiling wine that combines soft silky strawberry fruits with an underlying power. Smooth, full-bodied yet elegant; great wine.


Villa di Capezzana Carmignano 2019, Tuscany

14.5%, €42

Voluptuous smooth cassis and black cherries with a spicy note. Perfect with roast lamb, other red meats, or vegetarian dishes featuring red peppers or mushrooms.

From:; Red Island Wines, Skerries; 64 Wine, Glasthule; The Malt House, Trim; Clontarf Wines.

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