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Cranberry Pinot Noir Meatballs

posted by Julie Evink on December 8, 2013

Cranberry Pinot Noir Meatballs ~ Meatballs smothered in a Cranberry Pinot Noir Sauce!

Cranberry Pinot Noir Meatballs ~ Meatballs smothered in a Cranberry Pinot Noir Sauce!

Entertaining for the holidays? I know I am! With that comes a whole lot of pressure if you let it get to you, but let’s not focus on that let’s focus on how to make it EASY and ENJOYABLE! Because who really wants to be grumpy over the holidays because you are stressed out from entertaining? Not me! Now, I need to take in my own advice right now too! For a few quick tips on holiday entertaining I’ve complied a quick list of 10 Do’s and Don’ts to Holiday Entertaining!  

10 Do’s and Don’ts of Holiday Entertaining!

5 DO’s

  1. DO Plan a menu ahead of time! I know this stresses me out if I leave it until the last minute so I always make sure I have this taken care of a few weeks in advance. It’s like my game plan and I can mentally organize when and where I’m going to make it happen. If it help to write a list of times you need to have everything prepared by then go for it! Heck, make a flow chart if it eases your mind! P.S. I need a flow chart!
  2. DO Stick with recipes that you know and have tried. This is not the time to get all fancy and try a whole bunch of new recipes. It’s stressful, you get in a bind if they don’t turn out and it’s not worth it!
  3. DO Plan enough time. Schedule everything so you have at least 30 minutes before the party starts to sit down and breath. It’s your time to unwind, destress and relax before the party so you can enjoy it too!
  4. DO Stock up on the necessities! Things like beverages, napkins etc. These little things often get forgotten!
  5. DO Prep ahead of time! If it’s the table you need to set the night before, the food you want to get a jump start on or the cleaning do it!


  1. DON’T Let the little things get to you! No one is going to notice other than you more than likely. Relax, take a deep breath and carry on!
  2. DON’T Let anyone Drink & Drive. Ever. Enough said.
  3. DON’T Do it all yourself. If you need help with things ask. For example do you hate to clean? Hire someone. Do you hate the meat and cheese tray? Buy it. Do you hate making tedious cut out cookies? Buy them. Make it work for you!
  4. DON’T Try to please everyone. You will stress yourself out. Try to accommodate as many people as you can but beyond that focus on the main things!
  5. DON’T  Try to make your house look like a magazine! No one expects it and no one wants to go to a house like that! Make it HOMEY!

These are a few of the tips I’ve picked up over the years of entertaining! Focus on the main things, have fun and relax.

Cranberry Pinot Noir Meatballs ~ Meatballs smothered in a Cranberry Pinot Noir Sauce! One of things I try to do is pick out EASY, but FABULOUS dishes to serve like these Cranberry Pinot Noir Meatballs made with Robert Mondavi Private Selection Pinot Noir wine. Now, don’t you just feel fancy saying that name? They are super easy, but totally impressive and no one will every know you didn’t slave over them, plus you can make them a few hours ahead of time and keep them warm in a crock pot. I love this! Serve a glass of Pinot Noir with them and everyone will be singing you praises! If you are looking for more holiday entertaing ideas and tips make sure to check out my Holiday Entertaining Tips Pinterest Board!


Robert Mondavi Private Selection offers something authentic, true to Mr. Mondavi’s legacy of making great quality, expressive wines from California’s Central Coast. Connect with us on Facebook for more:


Please enjoy our wines responsibly.

Compensation was provided by Robert Mondavi Private Selection via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Robert Mondavi Private Selection.

47 reviews

Cranberry Pinot Noir Meatballs

Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 30 minutes


  • 1 (1 lb 10 oz ) bag Italian Style Meatballs
  • 1 (16 oz) can whole cranberry Sauce
  • 1 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1 c. Robert Mondavi Private Selection Pinot Noir
  • 1 tsp spicy brown mustard


  1. Prepare meatballs according to package directions.
  2. In a saucepan combine cranberry sauce, brown sugar, Pinot Noir, and mustard. Whisk to combine over medium heat. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes or until mixture has thickened, stirring frequently.
  3. Remove from heat and pour sauce over meatballs, serve immediately or hold in crock pot on warm or low setting.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per ServingAs Served
Calories 1933kcal Calories from fat 161
% Daily Value
Total Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Transfat 1g
Cholesterol 60mg20%
Sodium 304mg13%
Carbohydrate 398g133%
Dietary Fiber 5g20%
Sugars 385g
Protein 16g

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

Total FatLess than65g
Sat FatLess than25g
CholesterolLess than300mg
SodiumLess than2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate300g
Dietary Fiber25g

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  1. DON’T

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  • Carrie @Frugal Foodie Mama

    Oh wow, Julie! These look and sound delicious! I have to make these for my holiday party this year. 🙂
    Thank you so much for sharing at Marvelous Mondays this week!
    Pinned & sharing.

  • Jen Nikolaus

    LOVE this post, Julie! These meatballs look fantastic! Pinning, of course!

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    Amazing idea for meatballs! Definitely need to try this!

    • Julie Evink

      Thanks so much! They are delicious!

  • Pauline Molinari

    Wow, these look perfect for a party! Thanks for sharing on the Monday Funday link party!

  • Julie @ Texan New Yorker

    I love the DO’s and DON’T’s tips, all very, very true. One I always add, because unfortunately I learned this the semi-hard way, is always make sure you’re stocked on first aid kit items (Band-Aids, guaze, burn salve) before hosting a holiday or a party. One time my husband was chopping a garnish and cut himself, not insignificantly, about 15 minutes before our guests were set to arrive for a Super Bowl party. Thankfully we had band-aids on hand, but I realized that I hadn’t checked for that at all beforehand. Now I always do!

    • Julie Evink

      That is such an EXCELLENT tip! I would have never thought of that!

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  • heather+@french+press

    what a terrific meatball idea!

  • Melanie | Melanie Makes

    Wine and meatballs, FTW – love these, Julie!

  • Shelly

    These look delicious and I will be making them for our upcoming Wine and Whiskey pairing party.

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