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Looking for a perfectly bold wine for your next barbecue? Fire up the grill and pour a glass of Pinotage!
What Is Pinotage?
Pinotage is an incredibly dark grape that's bursting with bold, full-bodied flavor. With high tannin and low acidity, this is one of the more intriguing reds you'll find anywhere.
That hasn't always been the case, though. Since it's such a high-production grape, some winemakers made a bad habit of stretching Pinotage too thin. Fortunately, that's changing, and it's super easy to score a great bottle of Pinotage these days.
Where's It Produced?
Pinotage comes from South Africa, where botanist Abraham Perold combined Cinsaut and Pinot Noir vines. Pinot Noir grapes had never thrived in South Africa's climate, but Cinsaut vines grew like weeds. This 1925 experiment produced a hybrid that grew easily and produced delicious wine.
Today, Pinotage is the signature red wine grape in South Africa. In fact, virtually every bottle you pick up hails from South Africa's rolling hills.
What's It Taste Like?
Think a mix of tropical fruit, cherry and plum. Add a hint of smoke and some earthy notes. And don't forget Pinotage's distinctive berry aroma. If you taste hints of red licorice, red pepper, bacon or sweet tobacco, you'll know you're sipping one of the best Pinotage vintages.
Why You'll Love Pinotage:
One of the lesser-known red wines on the market, Pinotage has tons to offer wine lovers. It's the perfect pick for people who are fluent in American and European wines but have yet to branch out into South African bottles.
Pinotage's inky color is sure to leave a mark, and it's known to have a sort of rustic appeal. Basically, if you're a little bit city and a little bit country, you're probably going to love the earthy notes, stout tannins and smoky appeal of Pinotage.
Great Food Pairings for Pinotage:
Grilling out? Leave the beer in the fridge and break out a bottle of Pinotage instead. It's developed a reputation as the perfect red for barbecues, and this bold wine works well with steaks, burgers and bratwurst. Try it with perfectly charred zucchini, eggplant and grilled veggies, too. It's also a great fit for hearty Italian and Spanish dishes.
If you're really feeling bold, try Pinotage for dessert. Load up your cheese plate with aged gouda and aged cheddar and kick back with a glass of bold, red Pinotage.