5 Delicious & Healthy Corned Beef Substitutes

corned beef wine side dish

So, you’ve got the corned beef recipe ready and the table set for St. Patrick’s Day dinner.

Guess what?

You need wine!

That’s why we’re here to help with pairing suggestions for this meal with corned beef and wine.

What is corned beef?

Iberia Corned Beef, 12 oz, Premium Quality Corned Beef With Natural...

Corned beef is a salt-cured beef brisket that is usually boiled and served cold.

The name “corned” comes from the large granules of coarse salt used to cure the meat- it has no connection with corn.

It’s typically made from brisket, but other cuts of meat like shin or silverside can be used as well.

You can find corned beef sold in many grocery stores.

This product is already processed and cooked, so it is ready to be used out of the can.

But you can also make corned beef from a fresh cut of brisket.

Corned beef is a traditional Irish dish and can be found on menus across the world.

It’s most often served with cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and mustard (and sometimes horseradish).

Corned beef is an iconic item on St. Patrick’s Day.

What to consider when choosing a wine pairing for corned beef?

When pairing wine with corned beef, there are some things to consider to make the right decision:

Consider the occasion

If you’re serving a meal at home, think about how much time and effort you want to put into making the wine pairing.

Will it be something special or just an everyday dinner?

Do you want to pair something cheap with your meal or spend more money on a better bottle of wine?

Some people might prefer a cheaper bottle of red wine with their corned beef because they don’t want to waste money on expensive wines when they could get two bottles of less expensive ones instead.

But if it’s your birthday or anniversary and you’re celebrating with family members and friends then maybe splurge on an expensive bottle!

Or maybe even two bottles depending on how many people are coming over!

Consider the side dish

Corned beef is typically served with at least one or several side dishes.

Therefore, besides taking into account the flavor profile of the main course, you should also consider the side dish.

Will it be a light and crunchy vegetable companion or a starchy and filling one?

And what is the taste of the accompaniment?

Keep these in mind to make sure that the wine you choose will complement the whole meal instead of going great with one but competing with another one.

6 best kinds of wine to serve with corned beef

Here is the list of the six kinds of wine that are perfect on the side of your


Veuve Clicquot Champagne Yellow Label Brut, 750 ml

Champagne is a dry, crisp, and refreshing wine that’s perfect for pairing with corned beef.

A rich and hearty dish like this calls for something light and not too heavy on the palate.

Champagne has a great balance of acidity, fruitiness and structure to cut through the richness of corned beef without overpowering it.

Some people even love pairing champagne with breakfast!

Irish Whiskey

Robert Mondavi Private Selection Bourbon Barrel Aged Cabernet...

Irish whiskey is another good choice for corned beef.

As you may know, Irish whiskey is made from malted barley and water, then distilled three times in copper pot stills.

The final product is aged in oak barrels for at least three years and blended to create the desired flavor profile.

Irish whiskey has notes of vanilla, caramel and honey when it’s aged correctly (though some younger whiskeys have more dominant citrus flavors).

While Irish whiskey does pair well with most meats due to its sweetness, it goes especially well with corned beef because its gentle spiciness can stand up to the pickling spices found in most corned beef recipes.

Sauvignon Blanc

Cursive Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand, 750 mL

Sauvignon Blanc is a great wine for seafood and vegetables, fish, chicken, beef, and pork.

Use it as a complement to your main dish or as the focus of the meal itself.

With its characteristic rich yet clean taste that can stand up to strong flavors like corned beef, you’ll find many ways to put Sauvignon Blanc to good use in your kitchen.

Pinot Noir

Pacific Gate California Pinot Noir, California, 750 ml

The Pinot Noir grape is a red wine grape variety that is very popular in the Languedoc region of France.

It’s also a good choice for pork, lamb, and corned beef (red meat in general).

The Pinot Noir wines are characterized by their light body with soft tannins and fruity aromas that match perfectly with many types of cuisine.


Gnarly Head Old Vine Zinfandel, 750 ml

One more option for you is Zinfandel.

It is a red wine grape variety that was originally bred in Croatia but has since been cultivated throughout the world.

It is most commonly associated with California, where it originated and thrived long ago.

Today, Zinfandel is one of the most popular grapes used to make wine, especially when it comes to dry reds or dry rosés.

Zinfandel has a deep color and rich flavor that pairs perfectly with corned beef dishes like brisket or ribs.

The best part?

Zinfandel goes well with almost anything!

You can serve your Zinfandel at room temperature so it’s ready for some corned beef whenever you feel hungry.

Pinot Gris

Cloudveil Pinot Gris, 750mL

Pinot Gris is a great match for corned beef.


Its light body and fruity, floral aroma make it a good match for the dish’s subtle flavors.

It’s also an excellent choice if you’re serving other dishes with strong aromas and flavors that might overpower the wine.

The wine won’t compete or clash with them, but rather complement them by adding balance to the meal.


The best wine to serve with corned beef is a full-bodied red such as Pinot Noir.

This will pair well with the saltiness of the meat and bring out its flavor.

You can also try white wine like Sauvignon Blanc if you want something lighter, which will complement the mustardy flavours nicely without overpowering them.

If you’re looking for something more unusual then try Irish Whiskey as an alternative tipple – this works really well served alongside corned beef too!

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