My husband and I took on the title of “home vintners” some time ago and we bottled our first four wines last year: Riesling, Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, and a Port. We always considered ourselves “white wine people” but our reds won our hearts over rather quickly. Our Port is our baby – it’s produced from the only varietal that grows well here, the Lenoir grape.
With nearly 200 bottles of wine under our roof, I’m always on the look out for new ways to cook using wine because, well, we don’t want to just drink it over the next couple of years. I regularly cook with white wine and have started looking for new ways to incorporate reds, namely our Pinot Noir, into dinner. The hints of blackberries and black cherries make it a fabulous candidate for a dark, rich and flavorful sauce.
It doesn’t have to be as labor intensive as a grilled beef tenderloin, though that’s a darn fine choice. If you happen to have leftover frozen meatballs in the freezer and a jar of dark berry preserves (black cherry or blackberry work wonderfully), you can have a killer appetizer on the table with only about 30 minutes notice from your friends.
How good is it? My husband likes it. ‘Nuff said, right? While nothing will ever replace a simple, fresh marinara sauce in my husband’s eyes when it comes to serving meatballs, he really digs the Blackberry and Pinot Noir sauce. ::Sniff sniff:: I’m so proud of him
Have a good recipe that uses red wine? Leave me your link in the comments section!
Blackberry and Pinot Noir Glazed Meatballs
Blackberries and port add an elegant twist to the standby cocktail meatball.
- 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup shallots, finely diced
- 1 cup blackberry preserves*
- 2/3 cup Pinot Noir
- Fresh ground black pepper
- pinch of salt
- 1 lb meatballs, cooked (if frozen, thawed)
- Heat oil over med-high heat and saute the shallots in a saute pan.
- Add preserves, Pinot Noir, and 5-6 grinds of black pepper.
- Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer.
- Add meatballs to pan, stirring to coat. (You can also put the meatballs in a crock pot set to low and pour the cooked sauce over them. Stir to coat and leave on low.)
- Cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the meatballs are heated through, turning once or twice.
- Remove meatballs with a slotted spoon.
- Increase heat to med-high and reduce until the sauce thickly coats the back of a spoon. Taste and add salt, if desired. Transfer sauce to a serving bowl.
- Arrange meatballs on platter with toothpicks and serve warm.
Yields: ~1 cup of sauce
Estimated time: 20 minutes