How Do You Pronounce 'Pinotage'?
A Quick Overview Of Pinotage
You pronounce Pinotage according to basic French pronunciation rules. The name is a portmanteau which refers to the grape being a cross between Pinot Noir, and Cinsault which was known as 'Hermitage' in the Cape when Pinotage was first bred in 1925 in South Africa.
It is a truly South African word - many tourists to the region don't realise that South Africa has a French heritage along with Dutch, English and other European languages. The French Huguenots (Protestants) who fled from Catholic oppression settled in the Cape, and the French influence is embedded in Afrikaans. The names Hermitage and of course Pinotage very much speak to this influence, and if you wanted to define the name linguistically as belonging to a specific language, that language would be French rather than Afrikaans or English, so this is the language to refer to when it comes to Pinotage pronunciation.
Pinotage has fought a long battle for acceptance in the international wine arena. At first wine purists snubbed it for being a 'hybrid', which is not technically true. It is a true cross which was designed to make the best of the Pinot Noir grape (makes for a wonderful wine, but it is tricky to grow) and Cinsault, or Hermitage varietal which flourishes without much coddling.
Pinotage is a truly South African grape, and most of the world's supply is grown in South Africa, although the varietal is starting to make its presence felt elsewhere, most notably in New Zealand, California, and Israel.
Young Pinotage wines tastes of plum and berries which softens to prune, cherry, black berry and cassis like flavors as it matures. Some wines can exhibit a banana or mango aroma which is quite distinctive to Pinotage. A lesser-quality Pinotage can taste of 'rusty nails' as many wine experts put it. Pinotage ages well up to 10 years. Maturation in oak barrels adds toasted flavors with notes of vanilla and cedar.
Pinotage is medium to full-bodied wine and often has a sweet sensation on the finish.In the glass, it is a deep ruby to crimson color. Pinotage should be served at between 16° and 18°
Pinotage Food Pairing
Pinotage is a versatile wine which pairs well with a number of different foods. And unwooded, medium bodied Pinotage goes well with BBQ, game fish such as Yellow Fin Tuna, game, smoked meat and is even great chilled with sushi and oysters! Try it with a burger or pizza for a sophisticated twist on a casual meal. Pair a full-bodied Pinotage with spare ribs (it's one of the few wines which can set off a tangy basting sauce), pepper steak, venison, oxtail and other hearty stews, lamb dishes, curries, and full-flavored game fish. Earthy vegetables pair well with with this wine - aubergine, mushrooms, especially wild mushrooms, or Portobellos are a perfect match.
Pinotage Cheese Pairing
A younger, unwooded Pinotage goes well with a young cheddar or gouda, while a more mature wine goes spectacularly well with aged cheddar, and hard cheeses such as Parmesan and Pecorino. Blue cheese is also a good match.
Pinotage vs Pinot Noir
Pinotage is not a variation of Pinot Noir. This varietal has its own flavor and aroma profile, and comparing it to a Pinot Noir does both a disservice.
These are useful links for learning more about Pinotage: