It’s Glasgow, it’s January and things have started to get a wee bit chilly. Even the hardiest of us have put away the Hawaiian shirts for the season and are eeking out another week from the novelty Christmas jumper. Desperate times.

We clearly need to source a big, spicy red to warm the cockles.

Pinotage always lights my fire, but it’s definitely a ‘marmite’ wine in that it’s not for everyone. I love its brash character and the sheer depth of unusual flavours in the glass. These flavours can include smoky bacon, balloons and blue cheese. It’s a bit like drinking the juice of spicy plums and dark berries…from a wellington boot.

If that doesn’t put you off, then Pinotage could be for you.

The grape was created in 1925 by Professor Perold of Stellenbosch University, South Africa. He crossed Pinot Noir with what he thought was Syrah (which was known locally as Hermitage, hence Pinot-age). In fact, the second grape was Cinsault. The good professor was attempting to harness classic elegance with robust hardiness, and whether or not he succeeded has been the matter of much debate ever since. Even some notable South African winemakers consider Pinotage an inferior grape, preferring to work with the more noble Bordeaux varieties of Cabernet and Merlot.

Subsequently, Pinotage is only responsible for about 7% of the Cape’s total output. A shame when you consider there are some amazing bottles out there, especially from cult producers such as Scali, Kanonkop and Mooiplaas.

Here are a couple of suggestions for this weekend.

Swartland Private Collection Pinotage 2017 (Waitrose, £8.29). This is a perfectly balanced Pinotage, with dark fruit sitting alongside leathery, earthy notes in the glass. The soft, supple tannins make it a good match with duck or venison and it's such good value that you can talk yourself into buying two bottles.

Kanonkop Pinotage 2017 (Majestic, £29, or £26 in a mixed six pack). This is a very special wine which manages to perfection the difficult balance between elegance and full-on dark, spicy fruit. Try a glass of this as a treat with a rare filet steak. Cheers!