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Man'oushe + Château Musar Lebanon Jeune Red 2017 #WinePW

For  May's Wine Pairing Weekend event, Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm is inviting the blogging group to look at Middle Eastern wine pairings. So, after a bit of back and forth about what constitutes the Middle East, I landed on a Lebanese food and wine pairing. 

I know that some of the group had trouble sourcing Middle Eastern wines, so Wendy opened up the field to include Middle Eastern inspired-dishes with whatever wine we wished. I do see in the titles that at least a few of us found wines from the region.

If you are reading this early enough, feel free to jump into our live Twitter chat on Saturday, May 8th at 8am Pacific. Just follow the hashtag #WinePW and be sure to add it to anything you tweet so we can see it. Here's the line-up of articles from the crew...

Defining the Middle East
map from Encyclopaedia Britannica

I thought that I had a pretty good handle of geography...and, initially, I had planned to share some Turkish wines and foods. Host Wendy shared the map, above, in the online coordinating group and Andrea, from The Quirky Cork, chimed in. She wrote, "Turkey often gets shunted into the Middle East and politically it's more MENA than not but geographically & culturally it's Eurasia." Then she added, "Also weirdly only the Asian part of Turkey is highlighted on this!" 

Given that Andrea's blog is dedicated to Turkish wines - and she lives in Turkey - I deferred to her expertise and ended up saving the Turkish wine for a different event.

In the Glass

For this post, I am sharing a Lebanese flatbread with a wine from Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. I have poured a bottle of the 2012 Château Musar Lebanon Jeune Red back in 2016 when I hosted #WinePW and asked the bloggers to explore a new country, new varietal, or new vintner. I posted Lubyee Bi Lahmi + Château Musar Jeune for #winePW, sharing the story behind that dish for me and my husband. Well, I got my hands on a bottle of the 2017 vintage and decided to make a couple of new-to-us Lebanese dishes.

Château Musar is a Lebanese winery in Ghazir, Lebanon. The winery is located about 15 miles north of the Beirut while the Musar grapes grow in the Bekaa Valley, located about 25 miles east of the city. On their website they share that wine-making is an ancient tradition dating back six millennia in the high altitude Bekaa.

By 3000 BC, the region now known as Lebanon was the center of the wine production under the control of the Phoenicians who traded wine from Biblos, Sidow, and Tyre all around the Mediterranean. Flash ahead to the 12th century when the Hochar family (pronounced Hoshar) arrived in Lebanon with the Preux Chevalier during the period of the Crusades. And forward ahead even more to 1930 when Gaston Hochar returned from a visit to France and established Château Musar in the cellars of the 18th century Mzar Castle in Ghazir. 

From the beginning Château Musar embraced a 'natural, non-interventionist wine-making philosophy' and their 2017 Musar Jeune Red is a blend from organically-certified vineyards. It's a blend of old vines, including 50% Cinsault, 30% Syrah, and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.

In the glass, the wine poured a clear garnet red and had enticing aromas of smoke on the nose. On the palate there was a hearty concentration of spice and fruit with a crisp acidity and mild tannins. What a lovely wine! And it went well with the Man'oushe and Dawood Basha (Lebanese Meatballs Braised in Tomato Sauce) that we made. But it's the recipe for the Man'oushe that I'm sharing today.


Man’oushe, a za'atar-laden flatbread, is normally eaten just as is, but you can serve it as an appetizer with olives and feta cheese. Or it can be part of a heavier Middle Eastern meal composed of hummus, baba ganoush, meatballs, and salad. I asked my Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf to make the dough while I was at work. He let it ferment all day. I just came home, shaped it, and baked it. I love having helpful, well-trained kitchen elves!

Ingredients makes 4 large flatbreads

Za'atar is a Middle Eastern spice mixture that I always have on hand. It's a breeze to make and adds something fabulous to olive oil for dipping and - I've just discovered - as a spice rub on any kind of meat! My za'atar recipe makes about 5 tablespoons. If you have any leftover (you will), keep it in a sealed jar for future use.

  • 3 cups flour + more for rolling, as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme, pulled off the stem and minced
  • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted (I use both white and black sesame seeds)
  • 2 teaspoons ground sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoon flake salt
  • olive oil
  • Also needed: baking stone, rolling pin


In batches, blend and crush the spices with a mortar and pestle. Leave some sesame seeds whole.

Mix all of the dough ingredients together in a large bowl. The texture will be a wet, sticky dough. Cover and let ferment for as long as you can - between six and twelve hours.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Divide the dough into quarters. Roll the dough out onto a baking stone or baking sheet, using a bit of flour, if needed, to about 12" x 4". Sprinkle each bread with the za'atar and drizzle with olive oil.

Place in the oven and bake for 14-16 minutes until the crust is crisped and golden. Remove the flatbreads from the oven when the crusts are golden brown and serve warm or at room temperature.

Well, that's a wrap for the #WinePW visit to the Middle East. We'll be back next month when Linda of My Full Wine Glass tasks the group to find wines for hard to pair foods. Challenge accepted! Stay tuned.


  1. This looks so good. I would love this, and your wine pairing sounds delicious.

  2. Thank you for conceding to my geographical beliefs! I didn't want to point out before but there are like 6 countries on that map that aren't in the Middle East... this flatbread sounds so yummy! I love a good za'atar!

  3. What great history. I know so little about this region and am looking forward to diving into everyone's posts!
    Your flatbread sounds delicious! I would love to learn more about the fermenting process. I made naan, and let it rise longer than the recipe said due to being in the middle of cooking other things. (It was an hour and a half, rather than an hour). I was worried that it would be "overproofed", not really knowing that much about bread and just hearing Paul Hollywood's voice in my head.
    Are flatbreads usually allowed to rise and ferment for extended periods or is this unique to Man'oushe?

  4. I am so disappointed that my wine turned. And a little jealous too LOL.

  5. Camilla I loved your post and it gave me confidence to make those flatbreads. One thing, I never use sumac. Do you use fresh or dried? I also love your kitchen elves. How wonderful. Cheers, Susannah

  6. I loved this wine too, and fun to see the description of another vintage. TheMan'oushe looks delicious and how nice to have those kitchen elves to help out!

  7. This Château Musar Jeune red blend seems to pair so well with the flatbread. I can only imagine how fresh the bread is. What a wonderful pairing!


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