When comparing champagne to Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) it’s all in the name.
Champagne is the sparkling bubbly from France and it can only be labelled and called champagne if the grapes are harvested in the Champagne region.
MCC is the same bottled fermented process that the French use, but because it’s not French grapes, it can’t be called champagne.
South African winemakers have over the years perfected the process and produced great tasting MCC that rivals many of the French bubbles.
There is a difference between MCC and Sparkling Wine
The grapes used for MCC are low sugar
Similar to white and red wine, MCC grapes are pressed and then fermented, but sugar and yeast is added, the mixture is sealed and the bubbles allowed to form
MCC can be stored for a year to four years in a cellar for the yeast and sugar to ferment the grapes.
Sparkling Wine is the same process but has carbon dioxide added when it’s bottled.
And then it’s all about the name, the bottle and the price. Unlike other drinks, champagne and MCC is a full sensory experience and people the fancier the bottle, the more likely it will be popular with casual drinkers.
Do not overlook homegrown MCC for the flashier champagne brands, our bubbles compete quite well with the grapes harvested in France.