Greek Moussaka … with a Lebanese Red Wine

Pairing: Greek Moussaka Paired with 2009 Chateau Musar “Hochar Père et Fils” Red Blend Bekaa Valley

Food:  Our Greek Moussaka is based on recipes found in cookbooks from the 60’s and 70’s, Foods of the World: Middle Eastern Cooking and The Four Seasons Cookbook. It is made with layers of cooked sliced eggplant, cooked ground lamb, tomato sauce, onion, garlic, oregano, and cinnamon. Assemble in a casserole dish and top with a white sauce made with milk, butter, egg, and grated mozzarella and feta cheese. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes until brown on top. The internet has lots of recipes if you don’t have access to either of these cookbooks.

Mousaka with Hockar Wine

Wine:  Lebanon is one of the oldest wine growing regions in the world. The ancestors of the Hochar family settled in the high elevation Bekaa Valley (1000 m elevation) long ago … in the 12th Century. Viniculture in this region dates back a bit further … about 5,000 years! The Hochar Père et Fils combines Cinsault (50%), Grenache (30%), Cabernet Sauvignon (10%), and Carignan (10%) to create an exceptional red blend of familiar grapes but with a decidedly different taste … probably due to the unusual inclusion of Cabernet Sauvignon into a blend most associated with the Southern Rhone region of France (i.e., Côte du Rhône). The current vineyard that the Hochar family tends is over 60 years old. It is inspiring that significant winemaking has endured in this war torn nation.

Hochar Lebanese Red Wine

Tasting Notes:  What a terrific wine! Complex aromas of earth, smoke, blackcurrant, blackberry, and blueberry. And flavors of fresh earth, leather, hedgerow jam, plum, dates, and wonderful dried figs. Wow! A terrific, big, mouth-filling red wine that complements beautifully the lamb, cheeses, eggplant, oregano, and cinnamon of the moussaka.

Other Foods That Pair Well with the Hochar Red:  Roast Lamb, Eggplant Dishes, Game, Root Vegetable Stews, Ratatouille

Other Wines That Pair Well with Moussaka:  Rioja (Spain), Chianti (Italy), Côte du Rhône (France), Greek Wines (e.g., Roditys, Nemea)

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