Thanksgiving with Germans? It’s Spanish, of course!

How will the owners of Portalis spend their Thanksgiving? I spent a few minutes with Jens and Julie to ask what they’ll be cooking up for the holiday:

Portalis Wine Blog: So, how will you two be spending your rare day off together for the upcoming holiday?
 Julie: This year we will be celebrating at home with our two girls, Clara and Annelie, and we’ve invited another couple, both from Germany and their little daughter.  A nice meal, some wine with friends, all around a cozy fire. We are very excited.
PWB: I’m curious what’s on the menu?
 Julie: Well, Germans don’t eat a lot of turkey, it’s not a common food there. So we thought we’d switch it up this year and prepare something different. Jens suggested one of his special dishes, Paella!
PWB: That’s definitely different for Thanksgiving, but sounds delicious. So what will be your contribution to the meal?
 Julie: In keeping with the Spanish theme, I thought I’d prepare homemade brandade (salt cod) paired with a sparkling Cava from Casteller. Next will be a frisée salad with an anchovy vinaigrette paired with Palacios 2007 Remondas Placet, a white Rioja. Oh, and there’ll be a big plate of orange slices, a bowl of peas and lots of homemade bread on the table for the kids.
PWB: Jens, you’re in charge of the main course, Paella. Tell me how you like to prepare it and some of your secret ingredients.
 Jens:  I like to take my time, by prepping some of the ingredients the day before. The main secret is to cook the rice in clam juice. I like to put lots of different seafood and meat in it: dungeness crab, halibut cheeks, scallops, octopus, prawns, shrimp, chicken, sausage, bacon, bell peppers, herb salt, saffron and pepper. 
PWB: Sounds awesome! What wine will you be drinking with it?
 Jens: Well, we’ll do several…(We’re German!) Clos Les Fites 2003 Priorat, El Quintanal 2005 Ribera Del Duero, and then maybe Celler Tomas 2006 Vilosell Costers del Segre . These reds range from plummy and elegant to full-bodied and spicy.
PWB: …And for dessert? assuming you have room.
 Jens: Our friend Nickie is a trained chef and will be making flan as well as her specialty… apple tart tatin. I can’t wait!
PWB: Which dessert wine have you selected?
 Jens: Eiswein of course for the tart.  Then probably Moscatel for the flan.
PWB: Just one more question, “Do you have room for one more at the table?”

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! For suggestions on wine pairings for your holiday meal, feel free to contact Jens ( for recommendations. Also, check out our Food+Wine page for a new spin on a traditional meal from Chef Tracey.



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