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We, minnesotans, know these four statements to be factual (nothing fake here), to be recurring (thankfully) and to be elements that bind (all of us) together. When we say: “we are minnesota,” that means a lot and even if you’re not of irish heritage, it doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate st. Paddy’s day together.

For those of us who have irish blood –however diluted it may be — we enjoy the great irish celebration. For those of us who don’t have any irish connection, what the heck! Enjoy the day — wear some green, smile at each other — remember the warmth of spring is not too far away.

And, there are so many ways to celebrate the irish holiday — with food, beer, whiskey, wine, parades, music, green clothing, a nod of the head, a wink and, wait a moment, wine??Honey wine

Where’s the irish wine? Well, because ireland is a northern clime country — actually farther north than minnesota — it’s hard to grow grapes but that hasn’t stopped the intrepid irish.


There are historical records of wine being made by cistercian monks in the 5th century, but serious modern day wine making is less than three decades old. To repeat, the cool, damp climate of ireland presents a challenge to vintners but with the planting of cold hardy grapes and innovative production techniques, the irish winemakers of southern ireland are presenting notable wines.

First and foremost, there is mead. That wonderful honey wine that has such an interesting place in modern day sipping and historical folklore.Wear some historically the irish believed mead to be an aphrodisiac and during any wedding celebration (past and present), mead was and is consumed with the thought that the honey wine will lead to the honeymoon. If you haven’t tried mead, I would recommend it — sweetness in a glass!

Because so many vineyards are relatively new in ireland, they haven’t reached their prime production years and many vintners are supplying various fruit wines (strawberry is a favorite) until their vines can become fruitful.

One of the grandfathers of irish winemaking is david llewellyn who has a small vineyard near lusk — a small town about 20 miles north of dublin. He focuses on using rondo grapes — a variety of grape that handles irish weather well.Cabernet sauvignon he also produces small amounts of cabernet sauvignon and merlot.

Another wine made by llewellyn is lusca — a dry red wine that seems to be making a hit in the country. With notes that reminds people of burgundy and cabernet sauvignon wines, I can’t wait until the wine is available here and I can taste a bit of my heritage.

But what about irish beer? For many, st. Patrick’s day cannot be celebrated without a pint of guinness. If you’re into a very smooth and creamy stout, this is your beer. Besides having been made for over 250 years, it’s a wonderful irish tradition that also tastes pretty darn good.

But, if you’re celebrating locally, I would recommend stopping at brau brothers and celebrating with a glass of mcfarland’s irish red ale.Some green it’s a gem to see in your glass and has such nice balance between malt and hop that it will make you think of becoming irish — even if it’s only for a moment!

But let’s not ignore the king of beverages in ireland — whiskey. Irish whiskey is made with a passion and is wonderful neat, straight, on the rocks or in a cocktail I especially enjoy dubliner irish whiskey — bourbon cask aged. It’s tastefully soft and has a gentle finish — a treat to consume.

I know beverages aren’t for everyone and if that’s your situation, at least wear some green on st. Patrick’s day. Let’s celebrate together and know that those puff balls of white snow will soon help turn our world green!Wear some