Best Wine Pairings For Corned Beef & Cabbage

Who doesn’t love a little cooked cabbage and corned beef as a meal?

Hearty and filling, wet simple to make, yet with endless potential for high-end cuisine, it’s no wonder that it’s been a staple of many special occasions for households across the country, especially on Saint Paddy’s Day!

Best Wine Pairings For Corned Beef & Cabbage

However, with this favorite meal for almost any occasion, there also needs to be an appropriate drink to go along with it. Something that can match this strong dish’s flavor, and bring the entire meal together into one delicious package.

Wine is a good drink to use for this need, but with so many varieties out there, narrowing it down to just a few wines to pick is a tall order. If only there was some kind of guide to help make this whole process easier…

Well, luckily for you, we’ve brought just such a guide to you!

From Pinot Gris to Cabernet Franc, these are the best wines that you could ask for when looking for the perfect pairing with a big plate of cabbage and corned beef!

Flavor Palate Of Corned Beef & Cabbage

The important thing to keep in mind when selecting a good wine for this flavor combination is the overall flavor profile of your cabbage and corned beef dish. So, it’s worth outlining the sorts of flavors that you’ll usually find in this dish.

Many people’s recipes will have different ingredients and results to consider. But corned beef and cabbage is a dish that has a very strong salty flavor, and a high acidity to it, thanks to the curing and pickling process that is often used when cooking this dish.

Because of this strong flavor profile, you’re going to need a dish that is either equally strong or something that has a distinct enough flavor palate to not compete with the corned beef and cabbage dish, without completely throwing off the overall flavors of the dish.

Best Red Wines To Pair With Corned Beef & Cabbage

Red wine is often considered the superior wine of choice to pair with main meal recipes, especially ones that have meat as a major feature.

And while you’ll see plenty of white wines that prove otherwise, we can’t deny that it’s hard to go wrong with a glass of red wine for corned beef and cabbage.

The sweeter and earthier flavors that you’ll find in red wine are a natural complement to a dish with a strong and heavily salted dish like this.

So, let’s check out some of our favorites!

Pinot Noir

One of the most popular types of red wine that you’ll find on the market, Pinot Noir is also one of the most difficult kinds of wine to grow, thanks to the grapes needing a specific temperature range to grow and thrive in. Still.

That hasn’t stopped it from being grown across the world, however!

In terms of its pairing with corned beef and cabbage, its earthy and full flavor makes it a perfect balance. There’s almost something savory about both the taste and the aroma of this wine, making it a perfect match, if you have the right variety.

We recommend going with an older variety or blend, as the more mature and earthier tones come through much stronger in these bottles. If you choose to go with a younger blend, you’ll get a much fruitier tasting wine, with hints of raspberry and strawberry.

Try both for yourself and see which one works better for you!


Another red wine from the countryside vineyards of France, Tannat is another wine variety that has become a popular drink across continental Europe, as well as many other parts of the world.

Tannat has a very similar earthy tone to Pinot Noir, making this a very good drink to have handy if you’re looking for a fuller red wine, despite what its sweet aroma might suggest.

If you can, try and get a hold of the Uruguay variety of Tannat. It is blended with both Pinot Noir and Merlot to create a much more balanced type of red wine, perfect for pretty much any meal you may want a glass with, especially corned beef and cabbage.

Cabernet Franc

If you’re looking for a red wine with tons of character, you can do a lot worse than getting a Cabernet Franc bottle, one of the most popular red wine varieties in France for your next meal!

This particular red wine is known for having both a high acidity and fruity flavor to it, making it a perfect counterbalance to the often salty flavor of a good corned beef slice or brisket, as well as the sour or bitter flavor of the cabbage that goes along with it.

However, before you go purchasing any old bottle of Cabernet Franc, we would recommend doing a little research into the vineyards and wineries that your local stores get their Cabernet Francs from.

This is a very difficult type of wine to get just right, and a bad Cabernet Franc is a VERY bad glass of wine in general!

Best White Wines To Pair With Corned Beef & Cabbage

Best Wine Pairings For Corned Beef & Cabbage

As we mentioned before, white wine is a variety that is often drunker on its own, with its tangy and sharper flavor often being 

However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t blends that don’t work with corned beef and cabbage. In fact, with the right variety at your disposal, white wine can be an excellent palate cleanser drink from the high acid content of a good corned beef and cabbage dish!

Sauvignon Blanc

One of the most famous types of white wine out there, Sauvignon Blanc originally comes from the Bordeaux region of France. But, like so many other varieties of French wine, it is now grown, cultivated, and distilled across the world.

So what’s it like with corned beef and cabbage?

Well, Sauvignon Blanc is often considered the benchmark when it comes to dry wines, which makes it a very interesting drink to pair with a corned beef and cabbage dish.

For us, the grassy, almost herbal, undertones that this wine carries help give it a distinct flavor that isn’t overshadowed by the salty beef and bitter cabbage flavor, without ruining your flavor palate.

Plus, the dryness of the wine means that the flavor also leaves the mouth as soon as it is swallowed, making it an excellent choice for a palate-cleansing drink for this strong-tasting meat dish. The drier, the better, at least in our books!

Pinot Gris/Grigio

Wait a second. Two different wines, in one entry here? Is that fair?

Well, considering that this variety of white wine is usually made from the same type of grape, we felt that we should include both of these wine products in the same entry. That way, we don’t end up repeating ourselves too much on why it’s so good!

The main difference between these two types of wine is their aging process. Pinot Gris is aged for noticeably longer than Grigio, coming with a much broader range of flavors, while Grigio is the perfect light white wine to drink for a crisp refresher beverage.

Both of these drinks will serve you well alongside a corned beef and cabbage dish, but we find that Gris’ much stronger flavors make it stand out more alongside the strong salty flavor, whereas Grigio can sometimes be overpowered by it.

Plus, we’re big fans of the subtle citrus flavors that Pinot Gris often has.

Best Rosé Wines To Pair With Corned Beef & Cabbage

Rosé is an interesting type of wine to drink with meals, especially when it comes to a dish as powerful as corned beef and cabbage.

While Rosé is technically a red wine, as it uses the same grape pigments and flavors, they are not concentrated enough in the right way to be considered a full red wine.

What you often get instead, is a wine that has a lot of the sweetness that you’ll find in many full red wines, with the tanginess and crispness that many white wines have too. 

This makes it a wine that is more regularly drunk as part of a dessert than drunk alongside corned beef and cabbage. In this case, pretty much any variety will suit your needs excellently!

Final Notes

So, as you can see, corned beef and cabbage is a dish that, while great, has a certain character to its flavor that make sit difficult to get just right with a nice wine pairing.

However, there are still plenty of amazing wines for you to choose from, as we’ve clearly shown!

Now it’s time to grab a bottle for your next meal!

Sarah Perez
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