Earthy, grounded, spicy, these are all words that could be used to describe the beauty of a glass of Pinotage. This grape brings so much personality to the table, yet it is so underappreciated. Originally cultivated in South Africa, bottles in the USA can range from $17-$60 but trust me when I say it is worth every penny.
This grape has been described as a bit of an acquired taste. With its rich earthy taste, spiced finish, and huge body I can understand how the everyday wine drinker might find it a bit overwhelming. However, if you give this grape a chance, it will open your eyes to such a new experience. I fell in love with this grape the first time I tasted it. Maybe its because I loved my time in South Africa or maybe its because I’m biases, but this grape really made me appreciate a very earthy wine. I love that you can taste the soil that was used to grow it. Each bottle has its own unique feel, because the slightest difference in soil shows. I personally love any bottle I pick up right from the Franschhoek region. I feel these give me the most grounded feeling. My all time favorite bottle is called Rickety Bridge.
Rickety Bridge brings me to a whole new world. You pop open the cork and instantly are engulfed in aromas of deep berries. Blackberry and ripe cherries fill the air with a hint of vanilla from the oak aging. You taste it and wet soil hits your tongue. I know that can sound gross but it is truly delectable. The more you let this wine sit on your tongue the more flavor comes out. Deep plum takes over the taste buds as you continue to drink. The pallet is so velvety and the tannins are superb. This wine brings so many great emotions forward. It is truly the perfect wine for any occasion.
Although Rickety Bridge holds such a high place in my heart, there are plenty of other delicious Pinotage wines. We drank mostly this varietal while in South Africa. Despite the heavy nature of this grape, it was still just as desirable during the hot summer days. We were lucky enough to be right by the beach, so popping open a nice bottle and watching the waves crash on the shore was almost a daily event. I truly believe you should give this wine a chance. It is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated wines.