Moussaka is a rather rich combination that needs some crisp, sharp-tasting leaves and some bland bread to mop up the sauce. The wine needs to be red, fruity and fresh, but with more heft than sayBeaujolais.
I chose Cotes du Roussillon Villages, Chateau de Pena 2008, which I have bought often in recent years. It is a typicalRoussillon blend of Syrah, Grenache and Carignan that is deliberately made for relatively early drinking and is therefore lighter and less tannic than it might otherwise be. This is made specially for The Wine Society and makes a very versatile house red. I got it in the recent offer at just £5.50 a bottle. The label says that it is ‘full-bodied, rich-flavoured and smooth’ and that it is ‘particularly good with catalan-style cooking which uses ripe tomatoes and peppers simply served with grilled lamb or pork’. Though Moussaka is lamb-based it is much richer than suggested, but the wine works very well anyway.
There is not much that is enjoyable at this price, and this is very enjoyable indeed – strongly recommended. It is however for drinking now; our case will be gone before winter, in fact it will be hard to spin it out that long.