Wine with meatloaf: 5 wine pairings that work every time

Wine with meatloaf is an excellent way to make this classic comfort food more enjoyable. With the following wine pairings, you’ll be ready for dinner. Fortunately, meatloaf pairs with multiple wines, including budget-friendly wines. Dry wines, specifically red wine, make for the best pairings for meatloaf. For fun, you can always try a white wine pairing if whites are your favorite wines.

wine with meatloaf

Cabernet Sauvignon

The rich flavors of Cabernet Sauvignon wines have the right fruity flavors to make it the top pick for wine with meatloaf. The typical Cabernet Sauvignon wine offers intense flavors like dark fruits (blackberry, black currant) and oak notes like spice, vanilla, and pepper. Traditionally, Cabernet Sauvignon is the perfect match for a variety of meats.

Chateau Pape Clement ($80+)

This Bordeaux wine is a classified Cru Classe wine with an exceptional reputation. The wine has black fruit flavors and hints of spice. The wine offers a classic Bordeaux blend of varieties – Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wine has earned an average score of 93 from more than 400 professional wine critics.

Heitz Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon ($68)

This Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon offers a different experience. Made with organic and sustainable practices, the wine emphasizes red fruit flavors and has secondary flavors of wood and herbs. The 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wine is aged in French oak and has 14.5% alcohol content.


I recommended picking up a Bordeaux wine. Bordeaux red wines are typically made in a  blend of several varieties, which works well with this American comfort food. Start with the following Merlot bottles.

Chateau L’Arrosee ($119)

Produced in Saint-Emilion, this Bordeaux wine has earned good scores from many wine critics. The flavor profile typically includes plum, firm tannins, and notes of oak-like tobacco. It’s a classic Bordeaux wine with a long spicy finish.

Leonetti Cellar Merlot ($102)

Produced in Washington State, this Walla Walla Valley wine has a lot to offer. The flavor profile offers a rich combination of coffee, spice, and raspberry. It’s a great example of a 100% Merlot wine with more than a bit of acidity to balance the wine.


Zinfandel also makes an excellent companion to meatloaf. If you want to have an all-American dinner, Zinfandel is perfect since most of the world’s Zinfandel is made in the US. Depending on your personal preferences, you can find entry-level Zinfandel (i.e., $15-$25 bottle) and a more expensive bottle if you want that experience.

Bedrock Wine Co. Old Vine Zinfandel ($27)

Produced in the Sonoma Valley, this full-bodied Zinfandel wine has a lot to offer. The flavor profile includes blackberry and pepper. There are also a solid amount of tannins and acidity to keep the wine balanced. The wine has earned an average score of 90 from wine critics, making it a great value.

Turley Wine Cellars Old Vines Zinfandel ($37)

This Zinfandel wine from California is a bit different from others. The wine is made from old zinfandel vines, some older than 100 years. The wine offers a mix of appealing flavors, including black cherry, cola, coffee, anise, and chocolate flavors.

Additional Wine With Meatloaf Options

A few more types of wine work well with this classic American meat dish. In particular, I recommend trying Chianti Classico from Italy and Beaujolais Villages wine from France.

Chianti Classico

The taste of Chianti is one of my favorites in wine. Happily, it is also a good choice for meatloaf pairings. This Italian wine works well with several meat leaf ingredients like lean ground beef, garlic, and tomato cloves.

Beaujolais Villages

Beaujolais wines, produced from the Gamay grape, are sometimes seen as uncomplicated wines (especially Beaujolais Nouveau). The reality is a bit different. Sure, some inexpensive Beaujolais wine options are relatively simple. However, there is also plenty of quality Beaujolais. It’s a popular red wine option because of its low tannin content.

Meatloaf Recipe

Enjoying the meaty flavors in homemade meatloaf starts with the right ingredients. The specific steps below are inspired by a great cooking blog, Natasha’s Kitchen.

Step 1: Prepare the meat mixture with the following:

  • 2 lbs ground beef (it is best to choose lean beef, or you can use ground pork)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cloves garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 Tbsp ketchup
  • 3 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 ½ tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 ½ tsp Italian seasoning
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground paprika

Step 2: Prepare your meatloaf sauce

No American meatloaf would be complete with sauce. To enjoy this old-fashioned meatloaf with sauce, use these ingredients:

  • Ketchup
  • brown sugar
  • garlic and onion powder
  • salt,
  • pepper
  • vinegar

Step 3: Bake the meatloaf

The next step in preparing this classic dish is to bake it in your oven. The baking time is approximately 45-50 minutes at 375 F (190 Celsius). Once it is finished baking, leave it out on the table for about 10 minutes to cool.

At that point, your meatloaf is ready for your taste buds to enjoy, along with a perfect pairing. So open your bottle of wine, pour a glass, and enjoy your dinner!

Wine with meatloaf: 5 wine pairings that work every time

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