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Snooth User: HS Law

Red wine with greek food

Posted by HS Law, May 27, 2009.

What kind of red wine would good well with greek food. In particular, with moussaka? Thanks!


Reply by dmcker, May 27, 2009.

If you want to go with Greek wine, Agiorgitiko and Xynomavro are the two red native varietals that have produced the most reliably drinkable Greek reds I've had. There are transplanted Cabs and other varietals now being produced in Greece, too, but I prefer versions of those from France, California or elsewhere to what I've yet consumed of Greek productions. Agiorgitiko is sometimes compared with Merlot. Xynomavro is common in wines from Macedonia, especially those from Naousa.

I don't know how easy these wines will be to find in your neighborhood. Not very easy in Tokyo, for that matter, and I've mostly had them in Greece. Frankly, my experience with Greek wines is 80% or more with whites, since I eat so much seafood when in Greece. I do like the Asyrtiko from Santorini very much, and even the dry Moschato Aspro from Samos. Many other refreshing whites have surprised me there, but I digress.

If you don't want to go Greek, perhaps a Sangiovese with your moussaka? Depends on what you put into that dish, too, I suppose, besides the aubergine....

Reply by ChipDWood, May 29, 2009.

Moussaka... ah, how I love thee. I've found Mousakka to be an excellent dish to pair with reds- from a bottle of Le Serre Nuove (2--4) from Ornellia- which was damn dreamy, all the way over to a Pinot from Mercurey that swept me right up with the dish.

There's something about the blend of béchamel, eggplant, and ground lamb that just sing with the ruby-styled reds. It's one of my more decadent pleasures ;).

Depends on what you want to spend. Get a nice pinot, try that on for size- or better yet, perhaps something like the 2003 Chateau Lilian Ladouys ( )- which is a classic example of left bank, rounded ruby claret that would react beautifully with all of the ingredients in the Mousakka.

It's affordable too, averaging between $30 - $40 mostly.

Yo dos pesos.


Reply by dmcker, May 30, 2009.

I agree with you, Chip, if the moussaka follows the classic recipe you refer to. Have been served it with tomato in the sauce, though, which definitely changes the acidic balance (thus the suggestion of a sangiovese...).

Reply by ChipDWood, May 31, 2009.

The tomato would be a new one on me, and I agree it makes a major difference. I get my Moussaka from our favorite place, ever, Greek or otherwise:

...The Edgewater location in particular. Their entire meu rocks the frickin' house, and we bring friends there, and being a BYO we come, eh... "equiped", if ya know what I'm inferrin'.

Had a phenomenal Stag's Leap WINERY, 1991 Cab with it, as well as a 2001 Turley (Pesenti)... and I mean it was all good, with the best of friends.

Should one add a tomato to sch a dish... Amarone maybe? I'm having a hard time wrapping my work-soaked brain around it, but color me intrigued either way.

...BTW... ever had a good Bekrimeze? I'm trying to find a pairing for that. More tomato based- but with a hint of Cinnamon in there with the roasted pork. OFF pre-mentioned hook on its own, but the acidicty of the tomato, as you suggest above, may call for something to broaden things out. For perfection: perhaps ome sort of Alsacian riesling? Nice and dry, responds well to acidity...

K I'm totally frickin' hungry now.

So, thanks for that.

That one may be worth a try too. We had it, to great result, with some spicy stuffed calamari.

....WAY hungry now.

Thanks much,

Reply by dmcker, May 31, 2009.

In re the moussaka, here's just one example of tomato-inclusion:
and since it's the first recipe that came up on Google I'm assuming there are plenty of others! I suppose you can view that recipe as a Greek variety of the older American versions of Italian recipes found in red-checkered-table-clothed smoky neighborhood restaurants with wax dripping from the candles in empty Chianti bottles. But hey, it all tastes good when prepared with the proper spirit, so who am I to decry a few tomatoes?

Have had many yummy Mezes in my time, kinda like Greek tapas. Bekri, or 'drunkards' meze with wine-doused pork appears often in the mix. And often *without* tomatoes, in my experience, though with peppers, etc. It's all good, and now I'm getting hungry! Only know one decent Greek restaurant in Tokyo, so guess I'll have to hit the place this week (cooking diner-style American feelgood food to a crew bringing Rhone reds at home tonight), and maybe consider an early summer trip to Greece, too!

Have had good syrahs with the bekri mezes and moussaka, too, though I tend to like the agiorgitiko and xynomavro I mention above when I can get them. Cabs can work, but I prefer to have another varietal when there's a lot of tomato present.


Reply by dmcker, May 31, 2009.

Forgot to mention that I really like artichoke moussaka, too. What's your experience with good wine matches with artichokes?

Having grown up in an agriculturally-oriented family in California I often had artichokes, as well as all sorts of everything that I took for granted then but find hard to acquire in other parts of the world. I still lust for the artichokes and grab them up when I see them, and though I find they're an easier match for wines than, say, asparagus, they're not completely easy so I'm curious how others match wines to them. The simplest way I have the artichokes is steamed, dipped in a homemade mayonnaise as an appetizer. Good bubbly from pinot noir is a great match, and some chardonnays, but I find chardonnay (still or bubbly) sometimes reacts imperfectly with the artichokes.

Any experience anyone else has had with this food matchin?

Reply by HS Law, Jun 10, 2009.

These are all great suggestions. Thanks everyone!

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