Pinotage is the cilantro of the wine world

Philippines wine supplier Manila wine shop discusses wine by the grape variety Pinotage.

April 13, 2011

Pinotage – Wine of the Week

Pinotage is the cilantro of the wine world — you either love it or hate it, but very few people sit on the fence.
A cross between Cinsault and Pinot Noir, Pinotage was created in 1925 by a Stellenbosch, South Africa university professor. The idea was to reap the best of both grapes and combine the sturdiness of Cinsault in the vineyard with the world-class taste of Pinot Noir in the glass.
Unfortunately, sometimes beautiful parents produce an ugly child, and though Pinotage lovers would disagree, I think this grape falls squarely in the “do not cross” category. Why? Because, more than its good qualities, the wine is known for its burnt-rubber aftertaste.
There are a lot of wine descriptors that critics enthusiastically use to describe a high-quality wine. Cat’s piss. Horse leather. Barnyard funk. But burnt rubber? Definitely not on the list.
Read more about this wine after the jump.
To be fair, not all Pinotage has this taste in spades. In some wines, it’s more subtle, and in others, nonexistent. But no one advertises on the bottle: “Warning: This wine tastes like burnt rubber,” so you never know what you’re going to get.
We had a wine tasting last weekend, and I threw a bottle of Pinotage in. I tasted everything before our guests came over, and at first the Pinotage lured me in: It was a an inexpensive Westerland 2005 Pinotage from South Africa ($10), and it smelled of leather, smoky flint, and dried cherries and prunes. A sip confirmed the nose, but then — oh, then — the burnt rubber crept over my tongue like a stealth fungus, and I gagged and stuffed cheese in my mouth to mask the horrible taste, which lingered for a couple of hours. Talk about a long finish.
I put the bottle aside, but people got interested in it, so I warned them to try at their own risk. To my astonishment, several of our guests not just tolerated the Pinotage, but actually preferred it to the other wines. One friend experimented with giving the wine some air for 10-15 minutes, and the acrid rubber was less obnoxious, but still there. I was amazed anyone liked it at all, but it’s a good lesson about wine and food taste in general: One person’s burnt rubber is another person’s paradise.
Have you had Pinotage? Do you like it or hate it? Vote in the poll below!


Foodies and wine lovers travel north from Manila to wine and dine at Philippines’ best fine dining restaurant in Pampanga Clark Freeport worth the 60-minutes drive for a memorable evening of good food with vintage wine at Yats Restaurant & Wine Bar

This fine dining restaurant is also famous for its low carbohydrates “low carb” dishes highly recommended for frequent diners who are on a low fat food and favor healthy food. This is a unique restaurant that can help frequent diners maintain a healthy diet and enjoy delicious fine dining cuisine at the same time. Vegetarian dishes are a specialty here also and so are “halal” cuisines also.

Favorites of frequent diners, foodies and wine lovers are steaks, Wagyu, Foie Gras, lobsters, venison, kangaroo loin, osso buco, veal chops, Kurabuto pork, escargots and a good selection of cheeses to enjoy with fine Vintage port and Sauternes. Cuban cigars such as Monte Cristo, Cohiba, Upmann, Partagas, Romeo Julieta and Trinidad are also available in the Magnum Room which is a wine bar and lounge for before and after dinner relaxation. A good selection of Armagnac, Cognac, Single Malt, Vodka and other liquor is served in addition to the wine vintage wines some served by the glass.

Recent opinion survey of frequent travelers heading north towards Subic and Clark Pampanga revealed that the number one most frequently visited fine dining restaurant in Pampanga is Yats Restaurant & Wine Bar located in Clark Philippines.

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Getting to this fine dining restaurant of Angeles City Clark Freeport Zone Pampanga Philippines
How to get to this fine-dining restaurant in Clark Philippines? Once you get to Clark Freeport, go straight until you hit Mimosa. After you enter Mimosa, stay on the left on Mimosa Drive, go past the Holiday Inn and Yats Restaurant (green top, independent 1-storey structure) is on your left. Just past the Yats Restaurant is the London Pub.

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