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January 24, 2013

Mini Meatballs in Barefoot Pinot Noir Sauce


Do you have entertaining to do this winter? These mini meatballs in a delicious Barefoot Pinot Noir glaze are just the thing and couldn’t be easier to make. They’ll be a crowd pleaser no matter what type of event you’re hosting and are equally as delicious served for a weeknight dinner with some crusty French bread and veggies. Serve these up on a platter for your guests with extra sauce for dipping --- we promise no one will leave hungry. And if you’ve never made meatballs from scratch before, you’re in luck! We’re here to walk you through the easy steps you need for success.

To start, mince a whole shallot. I like to use shallots over onions in my meatballs because the flavor is more concentrated and you don’t have big pieces of yellow onion in the meatball. If you’ve never cooked with shallots before, I think you’ll really love it!

In a large mixing bowl, combine a pound of ground beef, a third cup of milk, a third cup of breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and your minced shallot. Now, with your hands, form the beef into small meatballs. Since we are going for “mini” meatballs here, you’ll want to form the meatballs no larger than a ping pong ball. The smaller the better so you can stick toothpicks in them to serve your guests! Place the meatballs in a 400 degree oven and bake for about 20 minutes. When the timer goes off, cut into one of the meatballs to make sure it’s cooked through in the center. They should smell delicious!

Now it’s time to make the absolutely delicious pinot noir sauce! This Barefoot Pinot Noir is the perfect thing that sets these meatballs apart from the rest. You’ll want to pour yourself a glass while cooking, too!

Pour about three fourths of a cup of the wine into a large pan, along with a teaspoon of cornstarch mixed with a cup of water and half of another minced shallot, and bring to a simmer on the stove. Keep simmering for about 15 minutes then add the secret ingredient--- grape jelly! Oh man, does this one little ingredient make this sauce amazing. The grape jelly adds just a hint of sweetness and goes with the wine flavor so nicely. We think you’re going to love it! Along with the jelly, add a little bit of Worcestershire sauce here.

And now it’s time our other “secret” ingredient: butter. Okay, not so secret…but very delicious! The butter makes this sauce velvety and smooth.

Bring the sauce to a simmer again so that all the butter melts. Keep simmering for about eight more minutes, or until the sauce thickens greatly. It should almost be like a glaze at the end….nice and thick for those meatballs! Pour the thickened sauce right over the meatballs and toss well. You’re almost there!

Serve the meatballs with little toothpicks to a crowd, along with more Barefoot Pinot Noir alongside. The pairing is phenomenal, if we do say so ourselves.




Mini Meatballs in Pinot Noir Sauce

1 lb ground beef, about 15% lean

1/3 cup milk

1/3 cup breadcrumbs

1 tsp salt

1 shallot, minced

¼ tsp pepper

½ minced shallot

¾ cup Barefoot Pinot Noir

1 cup water

1 tsp cornstarch

1 ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp grape jelly

1 tbsp butter

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a large casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Combine the ground beef, minced shallot, salt, pepper, milk and breadcrumbs together in a large bowl. Mix well until completely combined. Form small meatballs out of the beef mixture and place in the casserole dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.
  3. While the meatballs are cooking, make the sauce.
  4. Combine the wine, water, cornstarch and half a minced shallot in a large pan over medium high heat. Bring to a simmer and continue simmering for about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Add the grape jelly and Worcestershire sauce to the wine mixture. Stir well. Finally, add the butter to the sauce and stir to combine and melt. Continue simmering the sauce for about six to eight minutes, or until sauce thickens greatly.
  6. Pour sauce over cooked meatballs and serve.

Makes about 35 mini meatballs

This recipe was developed and photographed by Jenna Weber at

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