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When we think of Spaghetti and Meatballs, our mind automatically races to serving an Italian Red Wine. Heck, even the classic scene from Disney's 'The Lady and the Tramp' features the two dogs eating Spaghetti with the ever present straw covered Chianti bottle as a candle holder that could be found in every Italian bistro in the 60's.
There was a reason why Chianti was king way back then in every Italian restaurant, and that is the Sangiovese grape used to make it. Spaghetti and Meatballs often has a red sauce, or Tomato based sauce. Tomatoes, which are highly acidic, needs a highly acidic wine to compete with it, or else the dish will come off as flat and metallic. As you've guessed by now, Sangiovese grapes produce highly acidic wines. Sangiovese is also a tannic wine, and the tanins in wine will be tamed considerably from the meat in the meatballs, harmonizing the food and wine combination. When selecting a Chianti, you want a style that is traditional, as more modern versions might be too oakey and soft to compete with the sharpness of the tomato sauce.

Montepulciano is another great pick. These young and dry fruity reds have herbal notes that will complement the oregano seasonings often found in this dish.

Other great Italian reds to pair with Spaghetti and Meatballs are Valpolicellas or Barberas. These two reds are somewhat light, and have enough acidity to combat the high acidity of the tomatoes. Both of these reds make for great palate cleansers, in that they leave a clean finish, so if you're watching your carbohydrate intake, you might not be reaching for that basket of bread quite so often.

If you want to support your local wineries, the food friendly Zinfandel will extremely well with Spaghetti and Meatballs. Zinfandels are fruity reds that marry well with the tomato sauce, and the peppery and spicy notes complement the meat found in the meatballs. A heavier Pinot Noir will match up, but stay away from this wine if the dish is heavy in garlic and heat, or else this light wine will not hold up.
For those interested in learning more about the spectacular world of Italian wines, we recommend the book Vino Italiano: The Regional Wines of Italy. Lots of great insight that brings a lot of clarity to the often confusing world of Italian wines.
 
 
Written by: Joel Baxter



14  Pairings
  Food     Type     Varietal  Rating     Based On
Pasta with Meatballs/Meat Sauce Red Wine Ripasso Valpolicella 1 rating(s)
Pasta with Meatballs/Meat Sauce Red Wine Barbera d'Alba (DOC) 1 rating(s)
Pasta with Meatballs/Meat Sauce Red Wine Barbera d'Asti (DOC) 1 rating(s)
Pasta with Meatballs/Meat Sauce Red Wine Chianti Classico DOCG 1 rating(s)
Pasta with Meatballs/Meat Sauce Red Wine Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 1 rating(s)
Pasta with Meatballs/Meat Sauce Red Wine Valpolicella 1 rating(s)
Pasta with Meatballs/Meat Sauce Red Wine Zinfandel 1 rating(s)
Pasta with Meatballs/Meat Sauce Red Wine Aglianico 1 rating(s)
Pasta with Meatballs/Meat Sauce Red Wine Chianti DOCG 1 rating(s)
Pasta with Meatballs/Meat Sauce Red Wine Dolcetto d'Alba DOC 1 rating(s)
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