“Think of chocolate coated espresso coffee beans with candied cherries and butterscotch. Does this sound delicious? It is indeed. There’s so much to love about the Barista Pinotage. Have a taste and see for yourself.”
These are the words of winemaker legend, Bertus Fourie, who earned himself a place in SA’s wine hall of fame and the nickname ‘Starbucks’ for his creation of the now iconic Coffee Style Pinotage in South Africa.
So, what is Bertus’ magical recipe for these unique flavours created from SA’s signature red grape? “This is the magic and the mystery. The aromas and flavours are completely natural. What we do know for certain is they are a combination of the effects of a specific yeast strain, specific toasting, specific oak type and of course, Pinotage grapes. I first stumbled across this unique ferment in 2001, with its distinct coffee and chocolate aromas and flavours, while researching for my MSc. I was experimenting in the cellar with the influence of different types of oak on Pinotage. The next morning when I opened the cellar door, a huge surprise awaited me – the entire room was filled with the delicious aroma of coffee. And the rest is history”
Bertus continued to experiment and refine this unique style of wine. “I worked on various combinations: cultivars, yeasts, oak – ONLY Pinotage evolves into this wonderful, rich coffee, chocolate and red fruit profile.” In 2009, he launched Barista Pinotage (“my best coffee-pinotage to date”), in conjunction with Vinimark The Wine Company, South Africa’s largest independent wine wholesaler. With its extraordinary aromas and flavours, approachability, exceptional smoothness and seamless integration of wood and fruit, Barista Pinotage is also and became immensely popular both locally and internationally. It is also extremely food friendly and very well-priced.
“Why have we called this extraordinary wine ‘Barista’? Well, the term Barista (of Italian origin) refers to people who are skilled in the fine art of making espresso-based coffees, so naming our unique Coffee Pinotage ‘Barista’ was most appropriate, paying homage to the exquisite coffee flavours of our Pinotage. The skill and technique that goes into the creation of Barista wines requires just as much dedication to the craft, and the results are made clear from the very first sip.”
“We use 100% new French oak. We flew to the cooperage where the oak is produced and worked with the coopers on what we call the ‘Barista House Toast’ profile, which is used for a particular portion of the wine. The focus is to guarantee a homogenous, complex style where coffee, chocolate and fruit aromas amplify each other’s intensity.
Taste: A burst of intense, rich espresso coffee and creamy chocolate aromas with nuances of ripe mulberries, plums and Maraschino cherries follow through onto the palate which is silky smooth, soft and luscious and enhanced with gorgeous notes of vanilla and butterscotch from the toasty oak ageing.
Rated: 4.3 stars (out of 5) and ‘The Best Barista Pinotage Vintage to Date’ on Vivino.com (5689 ratings), a website trusted by millions to discover and buy the right wine.
Packaging: The distinctive Barista packaging exhibits minimalist sophistication and style, topped with its signature black and white check screw cap design, with cues taken from authentic Italian coffee bars’ black and white tiled floors.
Buy: The stylishly packaged Barista Pinotage 2019 is widely available nationally at leading liquor retailers and grocers for approximately R95 per bottle.
Food Pairing: Pinotage is one of the most versatile wines when it comes to pairing with food. Winemaker Bertus Fourie, a whiz in the kitchen, loves to experiment with food and has developed some wonderful recipes to complement the full-fruited flavours and the hint of coffee in the Barista Pinotage. Some of his favourite recipes for you to try out – with glass of Barista Pinotage at hand of course – are:
Brandy-Snap Baskets with gorgonzola & maraschino cherry ice-cream
Who says red wine and dessert don’t go? The winning combo of brandy-snap baskets (bringing texture) and the blue cheese and cherries in the ice-cream make this delicious dessert option a winner with Barista Pinotage.
Darkly Braised Lamb Shoulder on long grain rice with red cabbage & bacon kimchi
Slow-cooked lamb and Pinotage are great partners and although this recipe calls for brandy, Bertus always adds a dash of Barista Pinotage to the simmering lamb. “No better way to marry the flavours,” he quips.
Seared Duck Breast & mixed baby leaves salad with potato stack
Both parent grapes of Pinotage (Pinot Noir and Cinsault) make lighter red wines which are a perfect foil for Duck Breast. The spices in the rub used here for the duck breast add the necessary depth of flavour when pairing with a fuller-bodied wine like the Barista Pinotage.
Crispy Pork Belly with beetroot relish & young vegetables
Coffee Pinotage loves mild spices, as used here as a rub for the pork, as well as the sweeter root veggies like beetroot, carrot and parsnips. The textures and flavours bring out the best in our Barista Pinotage making wine and food decidedly more “moreish”!
To see Bertus in action in the kitchen and download the recipes (which are also attached) visit:
“I love coffee and I am immensely proud to be known as the ‘Father of Coffee Pinotage’”, says Bertus. “Barista Pinotage is a unique and distinctive wine that is produced with enormous care to make it a taste you will remember and hopefully come back for more. Have a taste today!”