The Perfect Half-time Pairing: Pork Meatballs and Zinfandel

Crostini con polpette al sugo con piselliWe close out California Wine Month with a recipe that pairs perfectly with the unofficial winegrape of California — Zinfandel.

“Aside from being my favorite grape, it’s just fun to drink!” Duane David Dappen, who makes wine under the D-Cubed label, enthuses. “It has a loose, celebratory, raucous feel about it.”

That fun aspect extends to the food-pairing possibilities. Grilled meats, barbecued fare and pepperoni pizza and among the fare typically recommended.

Pork meatballs also work very well, and represent a fun option for serving during half-time when your favorite football team is playing on TV. This recipe yields six servings, and it works beautifully with any of the Zins featured in this delicious collection from Vinesse.



  • 1-lb. ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon onion flakes
  • ¾ cup corn flakes, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  1. Combine pork, onion flakes, corn flakes, salt, black pepper and egg in a large bowl.
  1. In a small bowl, stir together ketchup, brown sugar and dry mustard.
  1. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the ketchup mixture into the pork mixture. Mix well.
  1. Use vegetable cooking spray to cover a muffin tin.
  1. Form 6 meatballs and place on muffin tin.
  1. Coat top of each meatball with remaining ketchup mixture.
  1. Cook for 30 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

Football watcher’s reminder: If you put the meatballs in the oven at the beginning of the second quarter, they’ll have time to cool a little and be ready to enjoy by half-time.

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Posted in Food and Wine Pairings/Recipes
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