Wednesday, December 10, 2008

More on Thanksgiving leftovers: if you're ambitious, make a Turkey Mole

Two days after Thanksgiving, our friend and gifted cook Catherine was still full of energy and undertook the ambitious project to make a mole.

In Mexican Spanish, mole simply means sauce or mixture (like in guacamole, avocado mole) but in the US, mole usually refers to a specific sauce called Mole Poblano. Mole Poblano is a thick, rich, sweet sauce prepared with dried chile peppers, ground nuts, seeds, raisins, spices, and chocolate, and traditionally served with turkey. This is a recipe that requires long preparation times but the result is totally rewarding.

Mole mixture before being blended

Blended mole cooked with turkey stock

Now, what kind of wine can stand up to those strong, complex flavors? We tried a Zinfandel from Opolo Vineyards, a winery located in Paso Robles. Opolo co-owners Rick Quinn and Dave Nichols own about 280 acres of vineyards, most of them situated in the Adelaide range of the Santa Lucia Mountains. The name Opolo is a reference to Quinn's Yugoslavian heritage, and is actually the name of a blended rose-style wine found on the Dalmatian Coast.

The 2003 Opolo Mountain Zinfandel Paso Robles is a big, alcoholic wine (16.6% ABV) with a opulent, full-bodied mouthfeel and rich, sweet aromas of raisins and other dried fruits. Not the kind of wine that I would drink everyday, but with the mole, it made a interesting pairing.

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Robert M. Oliva, ND, LMSW, MA said...


I've been really enjoying your mix of food and wine posts. You're not too complex but not simple either. I appreciate your clarity and love of what you do. I especially appreciate your photos of the great dishes you put together. I recently started my own modest wine blog at I will be linking to your blog.

I look forward to your future posts.


Catherine Granger said...


Thanks a lot for your nice words, for pointing to your blog, and for linking my blog! I added a link to your blog as well.