Pinot Noir Blend – “Cocktail” Meatballs

Mini meatballs are a time-honored entertaining favorite and the little gems you’ll create with this recipe are a really tasty take! For our version below, we are showcasing Winemaker’s Pantry Spice Pairing for Pinot Noir – combining its smoky notes and hint of heat with the brightness of fresh seedless grapes, cooked down until syrupy. The addition of tart cherry jam also helps to showcase Pinot Noir’s core flavor profile.

If your party plans call for a Merlot instead, simply change out the Spice Pairing and replace the tart cherry jam with seedless blackberry. If you want to go big and bold with a Cabernet, we suggest sticking to black seedless grapes and using plum or seedless raspberry jam. 


  • 1 lb Ground Beef or Lamb
  • 1/3 cup sweet yellow Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Butter
  • ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup Parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbs Winemaker’s Pantry ™ Spice Pairing for Pinot Noir
  • ¼ cup Shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups seedless Red or Black grapes, chopped
  • ½ cup Tart Cherry Jam
  • Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
  • Olive oil

For Garnish:

Chopped Parsley

¼ cup Pistachios, crushed

¼ cup Pomegranate seeds

Drizzle Greek Yogurt, mixed with a few drops of water


  • In a large non stick pan, sauté the sweet yellow onion with a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Into a large mixing bowl, add the ground meat along with the sautéed onion, panko, parsley, ½ teaspoon of salt (or to taste) and, the Winemaker’s Pantry ™ Spice Pairing for Pinot Noir. Mix until fully combined, but do not overwork the meat mixture (that will help keep the meatballs tender.)
  • Coat your hands with a drizzle of olive oil to keep the meat from sticking to your hands as you roll the mixture into small bite size balls. You should end up with 22-24 meatballs.