That Four-leaf clover is at Frontier Mart
Jim Hammond

Finding the right wine to go with your Saint Patrick’s Day feast is a lot easier than finding that proverbial four-leaf clover. That is certainly the case if you go to Frontier Mart. In fact they probably have some four-leafers in the back room if that is what you really want. Meanwhile what wine goes with typical Saint Patrick’s fare?

Corned Beef & Cabbage: Back in the Emerald Isle the dish was often cabbage and Irish bacon joint that they enjoyed. Ireland was the first country to export corned beef from Cork, and while corned beef is Irish, corned beef and cabbage was not in many households, but that certainly is true in America. The ‘corns’ are salt crystals used to preserve the meat.

Pinot Noir wines with red fruit and spicy notes go well with the beef without overpowering it. A Spanish Tempranillo and other spicy reds, such as a claret-style Zinfandel, are also good

Talbott Kali Hart Pinot Noir: Right up front in the store and at a good price, this Santa Lucia Highlands (SLH) pinot has the spice and rich fruit to go with lots of dishes including corned beef and is rated 92 points.

If white wine is your first choice, try a spicy, slightly sweet wine like Gewürztraminer from Germany, Austria or Alsace or you can’t do better than a Fetzer Shaly Loam Gewürztraminer from Monterey county. The wine is off-dry with good acidity and exotic fruits and rated from 92 to 95 points from this sustainable-practice pioneer winery.

Fish & Chips: This was English fare that made its way to Ireland in the forties. Not knowing of this combo, Irish would ask for fish and steak fries, or one and one as it was also known. As carry-out it was sold by chippers before becoming pub grub. A lot of take-out came with way more grease than even the newspaper it was packed in could manage. I’d suggest Two Fools Tavern if you’re eating out.

Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling fit the bill here. Good acidity, grapefruit flavors handle fish’s delicate flavors and cuts thru the grease. And Frontier has all the popular New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc brands from the country with the world’s best versions of this grape.

Bangers & mash: These juicy sausages often exploded over high heat, thus the name. It is often served with mashed potatoes. A spicy Syrah works here and you can’t do better than an award-winning Milagro Vineyards Syrah, a double-gold winner and New Mexico’s best Syrah.

Lamb Stew: My favorite stew often made with left-over lamb roasts with root veggies, potato, beet, turnip, carrot, mushrooms, garlic and red wine and onions if you must. Pinot Noir always works with lamb, but Syrah and Zinfandel work very well.

Milagro Zinfandel wines are my favorite claret-style Zins. Claret-style Zins are more balanced, and spicy with good acidity and medium-bodied rather than the jammy, high-alcohol California Zins that can be more challenging to pair with food.

Leg of Lamb, lamb chops and crown roasts: are typically flavored with Rosemary and cry out for Pinot Noir. Seriously, I’ve heard them cryin’. In fact I’m not sure whether I like lamb because it goes with Pinot Noir, or Pinot Noir because it pairs with lamb. The slightly earthy, gamey accents of lamb are in perfect harmony with this grape.

Again you are in good hands here Sonoma-Curter Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir or a La Creama Pinot if you love a velvety mouthfeel.

Frontier Mart prides itself on providing affordable well-crafted wines and great variety as I think these examples prove.

Jim Hammond
Albuquerque Arts magazine Columnist
Albuquerque Wine Examiner @ Examiner.com
Author: Wines of Enchantment: A Guide to Finding and Enjoying the Wines of New Mexico
Former Albuquerque Journal Wine Columnist

HTTP://www.Jim-Hammond.com (Literary website)

John and Jean Waszak own the Frontier Mart – or the Frontier Mart owns them.
John is a sports fan.  If he’s breathing, you’ll find him at the Lobo basketball games.  In his younger days he had 15 minutes of fame as a fullback for the Cleveland Browns.

Jean was born to be a writer, but she got sidetracked running a grocery store. Since 1993 she has written a column for the local newspaper. She writes about people and animals who frequent the Frontier Mart. Their stories are so wild and interesting that she simply cannot stop herself. You’ll want to read her blog.

Our goal at Frontier Mart is to reflect the ambiance, diversity and fun of our rural village. For example, did you know that Corrales has a Pet Mayor? Voting starts soon and the winner is announced at Harvest Festival.  A song once written about Corrales says that we are a village of "1000 people, 2000 dogs and 3000 registered horses.“ Our population is a bit larger than that now, but the ratios remain roughly the same.

We’d love to welcome you to Corrales
and the Frontier Mart.

Listen to our Radio Corrales interview: