Sample the luck of the Irish!

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Celebrated the world over with music, dancing and feasting, St Patrick’s Day (March 17) is a marvellous excuse to imbibe the Irish spirit and dabble in some Gaelic fun.

Ireland’s rugged coast is famous for its shellfish, and fruits of the sea such as brown crab, mussels and oysters need a light, versatile white which won’t overwhelm their mild taste.

Clean as a whistle, Les Dix du Pallet Muscadet Sevre-et-Maine 2011, France (£8.49, www.laithwaites.co.uk) is a very convincing muscadet with refreshing lime and tangy green apple flavours. And thanks to the all-important ‘sur lie’ on the label - this refers to a wine which has stayed in contact with the yeast after fermentation and lends more flavour to the grape - it’s a bottle which showcases a creamy richness.

To chime with a plate of colcannon (mashed potato and cabbage), a traditional favourite at this time of year, a zesty sauvignon blanc always washes down well. Try Freeman’s Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2012, New Zealand (£5.49, Aldi), which tastes as fresh as a daisy with mouthwatering lime, gooseberry and elderflower framed by green leafy notes and a zippy finish.

Sturdy reds complement simple, tasty nosh. Taste the Difference Navarra Red 2010, Spain (£6.99, Sainsbury’s), an oak-aged blend of garnacha, graciano and tempranillo, with warm earthy notes and a lick of cinnamon and spice.