Great Wine Values: A robust red with coffee notes from South Africa

Fans of robust reds like malbec or zinfandel who also love espresso drinks might want seek out this unusual wine while it is deeply discounted.

This South African pinotage features the dense texture and meaty berry-cherry flavors this uncommon grape is known for.

However, where other reds offer subtle suggestions of nonfruit aromas, Barista’s unmistakable scent of dark-roasted coffee screams boldly from the glass.

Known as a “coffee pinotage” in the trade, this class of wines is not flavored artificially, but rather by a quirk of their natural fermentation process.

Barista is made by the original master winemaker who discovered this process accidentally in 2000.

Putting a red wine in contact with charred oak during fermentation generates intensely aromatic esters found in roasted coffee and chocolate flavors, rather than imparting the milder vanilla and bourbon tastes associated with aging red wines in oak barrels after fermentation.

Barista Pinotage, $9.99 (regularly $14.99); Pa. Fine Wine & Good Spirits; Item #7510; sale price through Feb. 26. 


Marnie Old is a local sommelier and wine author known for practical advice with real-world relevance. Check her out at or follow her on Twitter at @MarnieOld.