Albondigas with Riverbench Estate Pinot Noir

Albondigas are tapas style meatballs, made tiny to pop right into your mouth. The mixture of beef and pork makes for a deliciously savory yet light mouthful that pairs really well with an earthy Pinot Noir like our Estate. Pair with crusty bread, marcona almonds, olives, prosciutto, and manchego and you’ve got a perfect tapas night!

• 1 lb. ground beef
• 1 lb. ground pork
• ½ cup breadcrumbs
• ¼ cup chopped parsley
• 3 eggs
• 6 cloves of garlic, minced
• 1/2 cup flour
• 4 tbsp. olive oil
• 1 onion, chopped
• 1 leek, chopped (white part only)
• 2 bay leaves
• 2 cups broth (beef and chicken both work)
• 1 ½ cups dry white wine
• Salt and pepper to taste

Mix together the meatballs by combining the meats, breadcrumbs, parsley, and half of the garlic. Beat the eggs slightly and add to the meat mixture. Chill for 1-2 hours. Put ¼ cup flour onto a plate and form 20 tablespoon sized meatballs. Roll each meatball in flour and place onto a tray.

In a large skillet, heat half of the olive oil. Brown the meatballs in batches for about 10 minutes each. Remove browned meatballs, set aside, wipe out the skillet between each batch. Leave any oil or caramelized bits in the skillet.

For the sauce, heat the skillet with a little reserved oil on medium low heat. Add the rest of the garlic, the onion, and the leek. Cook until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the bay leaf and cook 4 minutes more. Add the remaining ¼ cup flour and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in the broth and then the wine, raise the heat slightly, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat back to medium low and simmer until thick, about 12 minutes. Cool and discard bay leaves.

Put the meatballs back into the sauce and simmer until sauce is even thicker and meatballs are fully cooked, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.