In this month’s quest to find great pairings for your Thanksgiving meal, I received a suggestion of the 2007 Ondalan Rioja Reserva by my good friends at Ronin Wines (www.roninwines.com). Although I am very fond of red Rioja’s, the Spaniard was certainly not my initial choice for a pairing with a traditional Thanksgiving meal. However, the 2007 Ondalan is so remarkably balanced that it would be a welcome guest at your Thanksgiving celebration. Smooth enough to pair harmoniously with roast turkey, but rich enough to stand up to rich side dishes like dressing and candied sweet potatoes, the Tempranillo based Rioja makes a terrific alternative to a Pinot Noir for red wine lovers! Then Ondalan has a nose of cherries, followed by a plum mi palate, ending with spices and a lingering fine tannin finish. The key is a smooth, harmonious mouthful that is somehow reminiscent of a Pinot Noir from Burgundy rather than a more typical earthy Rioja. If you wish to bring a winning alternative to the more typical Pinot Noir or buttery Chardonnay for your turkey and dressing dinner, look no further than the 2007 Ondalan Rioja Reserva. As far as the wine experts, Steven Tanzer awarded the Spaniard with an impressive 90 out of 100 points. Careful shopping can locate this elegant bottle for under $35. There is a better than zero chance that your humble Wine Bargain Sleuth will bring a bottle or two to this year’s family festival.