Best Wine Pairing To Have With Spaghetti & Meatballs

Ah, the humble spaghetti and meatball meal. Is there a more reliable crowd-pleasing food out there?

Hearty, filling, and above all else, delicious, there’s probably not a person out there that enjoys a good Italian or Italian-inspired dish that doesn’t also love meatballs and this long pasta dish!

Best Wine Pairing To Have With Spaghetti & Meatballs

(Unless they’re vegetarian or vegan, of course!)

Whether you’re in a cozy local café, or dining big in a fancy authentic 5-star restaurant, most Italian restaurants will serve some form of 

However, having great food is only half of the conundrum. What sort of drink are you going to enjoy along with it? Surely it has to be a fine wine, right? The only question is: What kind of wine?

Well, that’s what this guide is here to help figure out! We’ll cover a ton of different types of wine, and what makes them different from each other. And, most importantly, why they taste so great with spaghetti and meatballs!

Best Red Wines With Spaghetti & Meatballs

With their largely sweet aroma and flavors, red wine is a popular ingredient in both cooking recipes, and as a drink on its own, where it adds a sweeter palate.

So, which red wines go the best with this classic Italian meal?


Arguably one of the most popular Italian varieties of red wine, there’s nothing quite like a freshly opened bottle of Chianti!

Originally from the Tuscany region of Northern Italy, this classic red wine grape has become popular across the world, being grown in warm, humid climates in Vineyards everywhere. But how does it go with a good meatball sauce and spaghetti?

Well, as it turns out, it’s pretty great. The high amount of tannin in this particular variety of wine makes it a perfect match as both a drink with this dish, as well as a great cooking wine to add to a meatball sauce.

The ground beef that is used in meatballs binds very nicely with this particular wine.

The high acidity also helps give it a strong aftertaste to it, making it perfect alongside an often delicious, but mellow meal. It’s doubly perfect for meatballs and spaghetti.

So, whether you’re cooking or drinking with it, Chianti is a safe choice to make.


We’re staying in Italy for this next popular red wine!

Often called ‘the workhouse grape of Italy’, Sangiovese is a wine that can be used in a variety of different needs in cooking and cuisine, from basic sauce bases to exquisite and high-class drinking wines.

So, its course it comes as no surprise that’s phenomenal for both in a sauce and drink to go with spaghetti and meatballs!

What’s interesting about Sangiovese is that it has a different character as a drink, depending on how old the bottled wine is.

Younger Sangiovese tends to have a much more bitter flavor to it, while older bottles have a much sweeter and mellow flavor, thanks to the high and low tannin levels.

Either of these works quite well, although we’re partial to a nice sharp Sangiovese flavor to contrast with a sweet meatball sauce!


This particular red wine variety is actually from the Rhine region in Central Europe, where it has been well-regarded for its strong flavor and palate.

It’s since gone on to be a massive hit with Californian vineyards, where up to 10% of grape wine productivity is dedicated to growing this one kind of grape.

This particular red wine is a strong flavor that goes well with rich meat like beef. So, if your tomato sauce and ground beef comb are strong, you’ll find a great balanced drink with Zinfandel (Also check out Cottage Pie Food Pairings That Will Excite Your Day).

Best White Wine With Spaghetti & Meatballs

Best Wine Pairing To Have With Spaghetti & Meatballs

White wine doesn’t have the same versatility as red wine when it comes to pairing with meatballs and spaghetti.

While a popular sauce base in many other classic Italian recipes (hello Risotto), both its color and sharp, tangy flavor don’t traditionally go well in Meatball marinara sauce.

However, that doesn’t stop them from being an amazing wine to pair with spaghetti and meatballs as a fine drink, where that tart and tangy flavor makes for a nice counterbalance to a sweet meatball sauce!

Pinot Grigio

A very common white wine variety, Pinot Grigio (also known as Pinot Gris) was originally grown in France, as the name suggests, but has since been grown and cultivated across the world. Each one has its characteristics, making them all interesting options.

Its somewhat sour flavor and high acidity make it quite a powerful drink. We recommend drinking this with spaghetti and meatball dishes that are made with more mellow sauces.

If there was a Pinot Gris that we would suggest avoiding for Spaghetti and Meatballs, we would suggest not paring the Asian cultivars.

Its distinct spicy palate makes it a somewhat stark contrast to the more mellow spaghetti pasta and meatball dish that many people might be expecting.

Still, if you want to try a spicier flavor with your Meatball dish, be our guest!

Sauvignon Blanc

Another very popular type of white wine, Sauvignon Blanc is another drink that has long outgrown the confines of the French countryside that it was originally grown in.

This white wine is best known for its somewhat earthy and grassy flavor, as well as having hints of citrus undertones. This makes it quite different from the other white wine varieties that you’ll find out there.

If you have a particularly strong-tasting variety of spaghetti sauce that you’re looking to balance out, Sauvignon Blanc will do the trick.

Oaked Chardonnay

Now, if you’re looking for a full-bodied white wine to enjoy with your spaghetti and meatballs, then you have to go with a good chardonnay variety. Specifically, we recommend Oaked Chardonnay.

This particular variety of this popular white wine is known for its powerful flavors, and buttery texture as it sits in the mouth. It’s a great complement to a fine spaghetti and meatballs meal, that’s for sure!

Best Rosé Wine With Spaghetti & Meatballs

Rosé is an interesting case for wine and food pairings. It is light flavor and subtle sweetness makes it a type of wine that is good for pretty much any kind of meal plan, spaghetti and meatballs included.

You’ll find that the fruity undertones of Rosé make it very different from other varieties we’ve covered, with its hints of strawberry and raspberry being very sweet.

We find it a perfect ‘dessert’ drink to have after the meatball and spaghetti meal, rather than something to have at the same time.

Final Notes

As you can see, there are plenty of different wines to consider for your drinking options.

In truth, pretty much every variety in this list offers something slightly different to bring to the table. There’s no wrong answer with these wines, whether you’re going with red or white wine.

Try experimenting for yourself to find the perfect combination!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Tannin?

You’ve probably heard us mention the term ‘tannin’ a few times in this guide and wondered what it is. Well, tannin is a substance that comes from natural plant material. It can be found in leaves, bark, and other parts of plants.

In wine, tanning can be found in the skin of the wine grapes used and is more common in younger wine examples.

Tannin is a substance that has a strong bitter and sour taste, meaning that a high tannin count in a wine variety will also likely be comparatively 

Is It Common To Use Wine In Traditional Italian Meatball Sauce?

This depends on the type of wine you plan on using. A tomato sauce for meatballs and spaghetti is supposed to be quite sweet and have a slightly acidic aftertaste.

While wine can accomplish this, it’s usually done with some kind of tomato being added to the sauce, making adding wines with a more tangy flavor pretty redundant. So no, in this regard.

However, if you’re lacking any tomatoes to help make a sweet sauce, a good red wine will do the trick nicely.

Sarah Perez
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