Do you know your Champagne from your MCC and your prosecco?

October 23, 2018

I know many of us love some bubbly, whether it’s to celebrate, or, just to enjoy a chic drink (my motto – don’t wait for an occasion to drink bubbly!)

Did you know know, that Champagne (with a capital C) only refers to bubbly that is made in the region of Champagne, France, which is just outside of Paris. Champagne is also made using Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier grapes, and it must be made in the Méthode Traditionelle.

This means the second fermentation process must take place in the same bottle from which it’s served.  When the second fermentation process has taken place the resulting gas will return into the wine, which will be released in the form of tiny bubbles when the cork is popped (and who doesn’t love the sound of that?).

Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) is the South African version of Champagne, and is made using the second fermentation process. It’s similar to Champange, but it uses different grapes. Sparkling wine is not MCC as it’s not made using the same process. Rather, it just has carbon dioxide added to it later in the process.

Then there’s Prosecco (pronounced proh-sekh/koh, which is a premium Italian sparkling wine, and according to Rowan Leibbrandt, founding owner of Cape Town-based premium drinks company, Truman & Orange, it’s a crisper, slightly sweeter and more delicate version of MCC.

While MCC, Champagne and Prosecco are all double-fermented to produce their unique fizziness, Prosecco’s second fermentation is according to the “Italian Charmant” method, and involves fermenting in tanks. Prosecco is made to be drunk fresh and derives its delicate floral and lively fruity notes from Glera grapes.

Prosecco is crisper, slightly sweeter and more delicate than MCC, and both have a subtler fizz and softer bubble than sparkling wine.

A good one to try is Mionetto Prosecco, apparently the world’s  best-selling Prosecco, and something I drank when I was in Italy in June. Good to know that a glass of Prosecco contains only about 80 calories, while a glass of MCC or Champagne contains around 130 calories and a glass of sparkling wine can contain up to 200 calories! The Mionetto comes in three varieties, and is available from leading wine shops.



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