It’s a lean weekend for menus to match in the national press so I’ve picked Thomasina Miers’ favourite childhood recipe - and one of mine - from the Times for my weekend pairing.
Moussaka, as you’ll see from her recipe, is a rich dish though Thomasina has made it lighter by grilling rather than frying the aubergines, something I also do these days. The recipe also contains tomato puree, cinnamon and red wine and is topped with a creamy egg-enriched bechamel.
It cries out for a red but not too powerful a one otherwise the effect will be to add to the richness of the dish. (Cooked cheese, by the way, is much easier with red wine than uncooked cheese is). I’d be looking for a medium-bodied red with a touch of acidity and would be most likely to find it in the southern Med, indeed in Greece itself whose earthy dry reds suit the strong, gutsy flavours of moussaka perfectly. Gaia’s Notios would do the job which now only seems to be stocked by the Wine Society since Oddbins dropped their Greek range. K & L seems to stock it in the US.
Other good options would be a southern Italian red such as an Aglianico, a southern French red such as Costières de Nîmes or, though it might surprise you, a Moroccan red, especially a Syrah