A rivulet flowing down an inclined plane often does not follow a straight path, but starts to meander spontaneously. Here we show that this instability is the result of two key ingredients: fluid inertia and anisotropy of the friction between rivulet and substrate. Meandering only occurs if the motion normal to the instantaneous flow direction is more difficult than parallel to it. We give a quantitative criterion for the onset of meandering and confirm it by comparing to the flow of a rivulet between two glass plates which are wetted completely. Above the threshold, the rivulet follows an irregular pattern with a typical wavelength of a few cm.