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Pairing Wine With Meatballs

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Meatballs and wines are a match made in heaven. Delicious store-bought frozen meatballs or fancy home-cooked meatballs are both excellent choices for a wholesome yet enjoyable meal.  The best part is that you have a host of wines to select from when you pick this dish to pair with.

Wine Characteristics To Pair With Meatballs

Characteristic Detail
Sweetness Dry
Acidity Light
Tannins Soft
Body Light White / Light Red
Tasting Notes Tropical, Floral, Fresh

Spaghetti meatballs is such a classic main course, both filling and very easily paired with some classic wines. Given the two sauces that meatballs are served with, we have some nice pairings.

Best Red Wine To Drink With Meatballs

When selecting a red wine for meatballs it’s best to go with some of the classics. We suggest starting with lighter body options such as an Italian Sangiovese and going into fuller-bodied options such as Cabernet Sauvignon or other red blends including Cabernet Franc, and Merlot.

Sangiovese An easy-to-drink, light accompaniment for meatballs would be a Sangiovese. Native to Italy, this grape variety offers tighter tannins with rich and rusty flavors of dark fruits like plum. 

Cabernet Franc A classic blend of cabernet franc with Merlot would be another red that we would suggest for a great meatball-centric meal. The wine will not overpower the dish, yet offer a complex finish.

Cabernet Sauvignon Those who enjoy the classics would go for this red with its intense and bold characteristics. The king of reds, a Cabernet Sauvignon never disappoints with its silky, mouthful, and toasty notes.

Best White Wine To Drink With Meatballs

Pairing meatballs with white wine is another way to balance out this meal by offering a more light, crispy, and softer wine instead of going for heavy reds. Overall, a balanced pairing.

Riesling The wonderful acidic nature and mouthfulness of this slightly more sweet offering is for those with an acquired taste willing to experiment with their wine pairings. 

Viognier This rare gem of a white is a fantastic option to pair with meatball dishes, both the bolognese and Swedish style. The rich, creamy, and nutty nature of this wine enhances any meatball dish.

Moscato If you’re interested in more tropical, fruity, and slightly honeyed notes, you don’t need to look further than a Moscato. A classic, and one with so much character to complement the meal.

Pairing Wine With Meatballs Prepared Different Ways

Wine With Swedish Meatballs

Swedish meatballs are slightly different compared to the classic spaghetti meatballs dish served in Italian cuisine. The Swedish classic is a smaller, more white gravy based and therefore it is an excellent opportunity to pair with some lighter reds to balance out the creaminess. If you’re looking for lighter reds and going for a white saucy Swedish preparation we’d also suggest a Sangiovese or whites like Riesling.

Wine With Spaghetti & Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatball dishes with a rich bolognese sauce would be best paired with fuller-bodied reds like Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah.

Wine With Barbecue Meatballs

For meatballs that are cooked in bbq sauce and maybe even smoked, we recommend a fruit forward red that is medium to full bodied. Our favorite would be a nice zinfandel or even a pinot noir would be great with BBQ meatballs.

Best Wine To Drink With Meatballs 

Meatballs are such a household favorite and delicious go-to meal that they can be paired well with any wines that you’d have available. You can go for some all-time classics or try new ones. Our best recommendations for meatballs would be:

  • Sangiovese
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Cabernet Franc blend
  • Riesling
  • Moscato
  • Viognier