Thanksgiving Wine Pairing with Olé & Obrigado

November 5, 2020

Pairing wines for your Thanksgiving meal can be daunting as there are so many different components and a hodgepodge of flavors. To make it easy for you, we asked the experts at Olé Obrigado, recently named Importer of the Year by Wine & Spirits magazine, to curate the perfect 6-pack of wine pairings from undiscovered, up-and-coming regions in Spain and Portugal. Say no more? Contact your concierge to place your order OR click here to check out directly.

For those who want to play Somm at the table, Yassmin Dever (@eatdrinkyas) breaks it down in into a few simple guidelines in this video that can help demystify the art of wine pairing.

Advice on pairing wine with Thanksgiving food

A few things to consider:

Lighter, less tannic styles work with a lighter meat like turkey.

Thanksgiving meals are full of earthy, savory elements that are really nicely contrasted by wines with red-fruited flavors. That’s what makes cranberry sauce such a good pairing with fall spices found in other sides.

Generally wines with some acid tend to pair better with food as they act as a palate cleanser and round out the flavors →  cuts through richness of Thanksgiving dishes.

In sum, common threads to look for: wines that are relatively lighter and lower in tannin, wines with red-fruited flavors, and wines with moderate acidity. All 3 of these wines have the above traits and are really versatile with a Thanksgiving meal, but for the type A people out there, here is a more specific roadmap in terms of what to drink when:

1. 2019 Liquid Geography Mencia Rosé:

  • Most people think rosé is only for summer. WRONG – this is what to drink while cooking, while your family/friends are hanging out pre-dinner
  • A dry, crisp, rosé from NW Spain (Bierzo), insanely easy to drink and a real crowd pleaser – spritely strawberry fruit and floral aromas with a nice balance of minerality
  • Really versatile pairing and great with snacks and apps (ie.chips + hummus/guac, crudites), roasted kabocha squash toast with ricotta (a la Dan Kluger)

2. 2017 Escalada do Sil

  • Slightly lighter, pairs well with the main courses and compliments turkey nicely
  • This is a red wine from Galicia in NW Spain – a hidden gem and a must-try for those that like Pinot Noir and Beaujolais
  • Has a lift and elegance and bright red fruit flavors that beg for earthy, savory flavors. 
  • Red fruit flavors mimic the tartness of cranberry sauce and match well with fall spices such as clove, allspice, and cinnamon
  • Really perfumed and pretty, tart red fruit aromas like cherry, cranberry, with potpourri spices and super floral (violet, roses)

3. 2017 Quinta de Saes

  • Slightly more robust. Drink with dinner and savory sides
  • A bit more oomph that will stand up to a sausage stuffing – especially components with an herbal element (thyme, sage, rosemary) will complement really well
  • Dao – if Burgundy and Rhone had a lovechild – finesse and elegance of Burgundy with this savory earthy quality of the Northern Rhone
  • The fresh red fruit (cherry, pomegranate) and delicate aromatics also make it an excellent pair for roasted turkey and game birds, as well as roasted mushrooms, squash, stuffing
  • Subtle earthiness complements the earthy, umami-rich flavor of gravy

Olé & Obrigado is an importer of artisanal wines crafted by family-owned wineries in Spain and Portugal. Recently named Importer of the Year by Wine & Spirits magazine, Olé & Obrigado offers the most comprehensive and well-curated collection of wines from the Iberian Peninsula available in the U.S. They represent over 40 boutique producers across Spain and Portugal, and their wines can be found at fine wine shops, preferred retailers, and restaurants across the U.S.

Yassmin Dever leads Business Development initiatives for Olé & Obrigado. Prior to joining, Yassmin was at Sotheby’s Wine where she provided collection management and advisory services to both aspiring and well-established wine collectors. Yassmin did not follow a conventional path to the wine world and got her start on Wall Street. After 6 years at Citigroup, her passion for wine drove her to make a big career change and she has not looked back since. Yassmin has certifications from the American Sommelier Association and the WSET (Level 3 Advanced).

Follow @oleobrigado to be the first to know about upcoming virtual wine tastings and winemaker events and for authentic recipes to pair with wines – including a sausage stuffing recipe in partnership with Chef Matt Ridgeway of Cooks & Soldiers in Atlanta.

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