The festival of flavors continues! You went out with class and refinement to the Italian restaurant to choose the right Italian wine , but now you are boldly offered a professional lunch at the local Lebanese restaurant. It would be a question, for once, of not passing for a painter and even, if possible, of impressing your colleagues with your oenological erudition, the confines of which tickle the banks of the Tigris and the Euphrates.
Fortunately, Flakon is here to shine a light on wine pairings with Lebanese specialties. Lebanon is also a cradle of winemaking, what good news!
We start with the classic, tempting assortment that gives all the charm to the start of a Lebanese meal: mezzes . All these little entries to share with your colleagues, the opportunity to initiate the celebrations and create a very warm atmosphere!
Remember, we make the bangers here, because we are in the restaurant, it goes without saying that the dishes we offer you are not culinary exhaustive.
The dish: peccadilloes to pick at
Our assortment will therefore be gourmet and traditional: hummus , falafel and tabbouleh , of course, will be guests of honor. Add grilled halloumi , an originally Cypriot sheep and goat cheese that is fried in olive oil, and labneh , fresh sheep or goat cheese, seasoned (pepper, olive oil). olive and fresh mint). Finally, some vine leaves stuffed with rice and meat, called warak enab , and breaded meatballs called kebbeh will bring a meaty touch to the whole thing. Everything is accompanied by pita bread .
Wine: sunshine in a bottle
The assortment shines with its freshness, supported by mint whose presence is discreet but certain, its light acidity and its creaminess tending towards fat. But above all it is an explosion of very varied flavors given the diversity of the dishes. We therefore need a wine that supports this diversity with marked tastes, a generous and fragrant white with a bouquet of intense fruits.
Let's go look for some sun in the south of France with, for example, a Vallée du Rhône white like a Côtes du Rhône Village Laudun . To find bouquets that recall the aromas of Lebanon, with scents of fig tree, olive tree or apricot, we can turn to a Côtes du Ventoux , in particular the Terres de Solence estate. And as always, a local wine will always allow the finest pairings so let's turn to a very floral Château Ksara blanc de vins or even a dry Viognier from Château Musar which won us over at Flakon!
The dish: taouk chickpea
Once you've worked up an appetite, let's get down to business. I offer you once again a classic: chiche taouk , a skewer of chicken marinated in lemon. The bouquet of this dish is powerful: thyme, cumin, chili pepper, cinnamon, saffron, sumac and garlic in particular. Once again, it's a real explosion. Let's accompany our chickpea with a cucumber laban (Lebanese tzatziki ) with mint and hummus to freshen up a spicy and fatty dish a little. A real treat !
Wine: red and white
You will have understood, here too we are going to need a wine which has enough enthusiasm to stand out in the aromatic explosion of our chosen dish without it being too strong and making cases to avoid saturation. The eternal question “red or white?” is here the guarantee of an open and global war and we find proposals from all sides. Tastes and colors, what do you want... So, we're not going to get wet and we're going to offer you everything!
Let's start with the white: we'll need a fairly rich wine with lively aromas to stand up to the marinade. We will happily turn to a Château Tour des Gendres in Bergerac , specifically the Cuvée des Conti which will ensure a fresh and lively pairing. In the line of bold whites, no one will recommend a German Riesling Spätlese or a Pinot Gris from Alsace.
Now, on the red side , we can turn to Lebanon and a Saint-Thomas Castle in the Bekaa Valley . Quite tannic, its woodiness is discreet and will highlight the aromas of cumin and cinnamon while its bouquet of red fruits will be perfectly enhanced by grilling over a wood fire.
The dish: the fat has sounded
To end in style, there's nothing like a little baklava on the go. A delicious and indecently fatty dessert, this little pistachio cake crisps in the mouth and melts under the tongue. Almond paste, pistachio, orange blossom, honey, rose water and cinnamon, it's once again a real festival of powerful and persistent aromas, and sugar too. A lot of sugar. Ideal after a luxurious meal.
Wine: the temptation of Asti
To support it, we cannot advise you enough to take a breath and take a step back. We have to come to terms with it: the best pairing we can honestly offer is mint tea or coffee, no wine in sight. It is clear that the pairings between oriental and red pastries hardly hit the mark on the one hand. A dry white would fade in the face of the power of sugar and a wine that was too sweet would have a sickening effect on the other.
But we never give up at Flakon and we have found the ideal candidate for you: an Italian pearl wine that goes wonderfully with fat and sugar - which shows that Italian wines are always so full of resources! The Bera Moscato d'Asti will satisfy you. And for the brave who are not afraid of sugar overdoses, some like to enjoy a sweet wine or even a liqueur with this type of pastries. Thus Muscat , from Rivesaltes for example, generally goes well with dried fruits, orange blossom and rose, and fig liqueur evokes similar regional flavors.
With greetings from the chef, enjoy your meal!