Wine Pairing & Meatloaf

It’s kind of bizarre when you initially think about it.  Pairing wine with what is essentially considered North American Peasant food or a cafeteria staple.  Meatloaf, is after all, essentially ground-up leftover meat of all types (beef, pork, poultry, venison), mixed with some spices, finely cut veggies, and either bread crumbs or cereal grains.

However, red wine has an affinity for meat, and you aren’t going to have a problem pairing any red wine with this meaty dish.  Since many consider Meatloaf a comfort food, we suggest you reach for your favourite comfort wine.


Image by RitaE from Pixabay

Cabernet Sauvignon & Meatloaf Pairing

Our favourite choice would either be a medium-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon, or Merlot with a bit of spiciness to it.  Meatloaf tends to be a little dry and sometimes bland, so these two wines will add a bit of flavour and depth to the dish.

With a Cabernet Sauvignon, expect some additional flavours like leather, tobacco, menthol and green peppercorn to add a bit of depth and spice to each bite of Meatloaf.

Zinfandel and Meatloaf Pairing

Due to the variety of meats and other ingredients used in Meatloaf, you can’t go wrong with Zinfandel .  Zinfandel is one of the most food-friendly wines out there, and no matter what the meat used, whether it is beef, turkey, or sausage, Zinfandel will combine quite well.

In fact, given the right Zin, you could consider Zinfandel the ketchup to your Meatloaf as the Zin has a sweet and refreshing quality to it.  Zinfandel is rarely tannic, but rather fruity and outright delicious.

Shiraz and Meatloaf

A nice jammy Shiraz is excellent with Meatloaf as the flavours of this comfort food will help bring out the blueberry and dark fruit flavours of this wine. With Meatloaf, we personally prefer a Southern Australian Shiraz which has notes of black pepper that bring a little “pow” to each bite.

Dolcetto & Meatloaf Pairing

If you like a lighter styled red, and are feeling Italian, Dolcetto makes for a great pairing. Dolcetto has a sweet tannin and acidic splash to it that makes it a great pair with a meatloaf with any sort of tomato sauce accompaniment. If the Meatloaf is a little dry, the fruity Dolcetto will come off as refreshing. Barbera is a wine that is similar, and enjoyable with meatloaf as well.

While I give these pairings a 3.5, they both make an excellent pairing. The score has more to do with that these wines are not as mainstream as the wines we mentioned above, and may be more difficult to find. Dolcetto and Barbera also have a rustic quality that not everyone would appreciate.

(out of 5)
Red WineCabernet SauvignonMeatloaf4.5
Red WineMerlotMeatloaf4.5
BeerBritish BitterMeatloaf4.5
BeerBritish Brown AleMeatloaf4.5
BeerBritish Pale AleMeatloaf4.5
BeerOktoberfest MärzenMeatloaf4
Red WineBeaujolaisMeatloaf4
Red WineMontepulcianoMeatloaf4
Red WineShirazMeatloaf4
Red WineSyrahMeatloaf4
Red WineZinfandelMeatloaf4
Red WineRosso Conero DOCMeatloaf3.5
Red WinePetite SirahMeatloaf3.5
Red WineBordeaux AOC RedMeatloaf3.5
Red WineNerello MascaleseMeatloaf3.5
Red WineDolcetto (DOC)Meatloaf3.5
Red WineMalbecMeatloaf3.5
Red WinePinot NoirMeatloaf3.5

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