Pinotage

Pinotage is a red wine grape that is South Africa's signature varietal. It was bred there in 1925 as a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault (which, in South Africa, was known as Hermitage, hence the portmanteau name of Pinotage). However, Pinotage does not have much of the aromas of its parents but comes across as ripe plum and blackberry fruit with undertones of campfire and earthiness. 

Pinotage may be made in several different styles: young, light and fruity, like Beaujolais; deep and rich like a Cotes-du-Rhone or Zinfandel; or elegant and restrained like Bordeaux. However, on the whole, Pinotage wines are characterized by the cherry favors of Pinot Noir and the earthiness of a Rhone Cinsault. 

Pinotage pairs well with meats that are roasted or smoked and dishes with hearty and slightly acidic sauces, including beef, lamb, game, chicken and turkey; grilled, roasted or smoked veal or pork; chili, hamburgers, cold cuts, meatloaf, sausages, mushrooms and risotto. 

Cheeses that pair well with Pinotage include mild, medium or smoked Cheddar, Edam, smoked Gouda, Manchego, Muenster, Parmigiano-Reggiano, aged Provolone, Roncal and Pecorino cheeses.