Pinotage for the people
Pinotage... you either love it, hate it, or haven’t tried it... am I right?
The Pinotage grape is the result of crossing Cinsaut and Pinot Noir, and was created in South Africa because Pinot Noir struggled to grow in their climate. The grape itself is incredibly dark in color and and has faced a sordid past. Despite having a bad history of being used to make high production, low quality wine, winemakers in the region have reevaluated and reinvented the use of this grape to start creating some fantastic wines.
You’ll often get notes of ripe and/or baked black fruits, licorice, red berries, and sometimes a little bit of pepper. When done right, this varietal (in my opinion) is a showstopper and is one of the absolute best pairings for smoked meats. A poorly made Pinotage will smell either like nail polish remover or burnt tar, so I always think it’s important to research the bottle’s reviews before you purchase it. Some producers I’m a fan of are Kanonkop (pictured), Spier, and Simonsig.
Have you tried Pinotage? If so, did you like it?