Pinotage is often given a bad rap. But this is a mistake.—

For some reason, Pinotage has been left in a corner rather like a litter tray that no one wants to admit is still there. This is a mistake. Far from being repellent, I’ve recently tasted excellent examples from across the high street that prove Pinotage is a red wine with outstanding allure. It’s a specialism of South Africa, a crossing of Pinot Noir with Cinsault.

In years gone by it became associated with aromas of burnt rubber and even filth (not in the good way), but at a recent tasting of Tesco wines I tasted three examples, all focused on quality fruit with warming appeal. I’ve recommended two of them this week – and I’d also pick out Tesco Finest Breede River Valley Pinotage 2018 (13.5%) as a third example that I’d happily drink for £7.50. With this much choice, Pinotage is spot on to spice up your week.

OLLY’S PICK OF THE BUNCH

LOST IN SPICE: Western Cape, South African Pinotage 2019 (12.5%) £4.25, Tesco. Sleek and spicy – top value for weeknight dinners.

SMOKIN’ HOT!: Fairtrade Pinotage 2019 (14%) £6.99, Waitrose. Supple splendour with a scrumptious smokey flourish.

A LOVELY DROP OF CHAR: House of Dreams Pinotage 2019  (13.5%) £8, Marks & Spencers. Gorgeous fragrant red with charry scented class.

TRUFFLY VERSATILE: Bellingham Homestead Pinotage 2017  (14%) £8* Tesco. Truffly, symphonic, resonant and rich – treat yourself. *On offer until 24th February 2020 (from £11).

WINE OF THE WEEK

Kanonkop Estate Pinotage 2015 (13.5%) £26 Majestic. Iconic, silky and elegant red to blow your mind – as good as Pinotage gets.

This column was originally published in EVENT Magazine, Mail on Sunday, 2nd February 2020

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