It's good to be green, unless that involves consuming large quantities of E142 that is. This readily available green food colouring, known invitingly as Green S, puts the colour back into canned peas and also dyes the gallons of beer and lemonade drunk in honour of Saint Patrick during his day of festivities on March 17th. But being Irish for the day needn't involve pushing a chemical banned in Scandinavia through your system - why not pour out some naturally green refreshment instead?

window sill salad smaller.jpgThe alarming green of freshly pressed Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc grape juice calms down into a lighter hue following fermentation into wine. The inherent greenness of these top selling varieties make them a good choice for an Irish themed day and their versatility means they'll match all manner of party snacks and meals.

Try the Co-op's Australian Lime Tree Chardonnay (£5.25) if you want a wine with an inviting pineapple aroma nicely balanced with pear and melon flavours. Perhaps getting in a bottle of Douglas Green Chardonnay (Ocado £8.49) is a bit of an overkill on the green theme. But this South African wine smells so invitingly of melon and tastes wonderfully sweetly-sour that we'll forgive it: gooseberry juice with a dash of butterscotch makes a pleasant change from the many forgettable Chardonnays.

If you're planning on serving an Irish stew then the accompanying drink choice must really fall into one of two choices: wine or tea.

Lemon tasting wine (with a green coloured tinge of course) will cut through some of the stew's meaty richness and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc almost always works, but to be a truly Gaelic meal it really ought to be tea. Irish tea at that. Blended to be slightly stronger than English breakfast, Irish tea brews into a malty beverage that needs the addition of milk to tone down the tannins.

PG Wine Reviews

Co-op Fairtrade Argentinean Torrontes
£5.25 Co-op
Fruity and refreshing flavours of orange, lemon and apple.

McGuigan Black Label Australian Sauvignon Blanc
£5.75 Sainsbury's
Lots of stuff going on here: apple, pear, lemon zest, kiwi and a bit of peach flavour.

Freeman's Bay Winemaker's Reserve New Zealand Pinot Gris
£5.99 Aldi
Melon and honey flavours.

Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Italian Gavi
£7.75 Sainsbury's
Tinned pear and lemon flavours. It really is a very good wine.

This article also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on MatureTimes.co.uk