Winding Down With Wolf

The second day of vacation, Tuesday, was admittedly similar to the first. Hubby and I headed down to the beach early enough in the morning to get a good spot and stayed until dinnertime. The water was warm like a bath and calm like a lake, so there wasn’t much wave riding to be had, but that didn’t stop us from enjoying ourselves. We spent most of the time rotating between swimming in the ocean and reading on the beach, although we also took a long walk along the beach, looking at ghost crabs and birds. In the late-afternoon, several pods of dolphins swam along the shoreline. Unfortunately, I don’t have any good photos of them, but everyone on the beach stopped to watch them swim by.

For dinner, we went to Aqua S. Neither Hubby nor I were particularly excited about our salads or our desserts, but both of us enjoyed our entrées. Hubby had the chef’s special, which was a nicely prepared Tilefish. I had shrimp and jumbo lump crab with fresh fettuccini, cured pancetta, and veggies in a lemon alfredo sauce. I paired my pasta with the 2006 Estancia Reserve Chardonnay (winery, snooth), which made for a nice, refreshing combination. The creaminess and lemon zestiness of the pasta enhanced the citrus and creamy notes of the wine. Overall, we enjoyed the restaurant.

After dinner, we went back to the house, and since I’d already had a white wine, I was looking for something a little different for the rest of the evening. As a friend mentioned that neglected South African wines, I brought one with us on vacation and this seemed like the perfect night to open it.

The 2007 Painted Wolf Pinotage (winery, snooth) is 90% Pinotage and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The wine was a deep ruby color. On the nose, there were strawberry, raspberry, and nutmeg aromas followed by a hint of Band-Aid and vanilla. In the mouth, there were strong smoke, cedar, nutmeg, ginger, rubber, and vanilla flavors. The red fruit flavors were very light and almost creamy. As the wine continued to breathe, it developed a complex, savoriness. However, later in the night, it started to take on a slightly candied taste. The Pinotage had medium-to-high tannins and high acidity, which balanced well with the wine’s medium body.

Is this worth a glass after work? Definitely! If you see this wine in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed. At $15, this wine has surprising complexity. I’m not generally a fan of Pinotage, but some of the rubber characteristics that I tend to shy away from don’t overpower this one. In fact, those aspects blend well with the other aromas and flavors to create a beautiful wine. I enjoyed drinking the Pinotage by itself, particularly as I drank it while also enjoying the ocean and my book; however, if you’re looking to pair it with food, I would suggest pairing it with spicy meat like tacos or chili.

Overall: 4 Corks


  1. WineLife365 says

    I’m not generally a fan of Pinotage either. But a 4 cork rating along with the Band-Aid and vanilla reference has sparked my curiosity to track down a bottle.

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