Moët & Chandon’s cellar master Benoit Gouez. Picture: Supplied
There are those who brag about the sparkling wines they’ve had, dropping luxury brand names as easily as they forked out thousands to buy them.

Everyone seems to have a favourite. Some swear by Krug or Veuve Clicquot, others Dom Pérignon, Armand de Brignac or Moët & Chandon. South Africans certainly love their bubblies – whether methodé cap classique, Italian Prosecco or Trentodoc, Spain’s Cava or, of course, the French Champagne. 

Sparkling wine is so popular that people argue on social media about what qualifies as Champagne (besides the French brands) and why one brand is better than another. 

That’s probably why Moët & Chandon’s cellar master, Benoit Gouez, is in this country, promoting the brand’s Grand Vintage 2009 and award-winning MCIII NV, named the best champagne of 2017 by Fine Champagne. 

He also aims to find out more about our Champagne tastes. He has been Moët’s cellar master since 2005. We met at the Oyster Box Hotel in uMhlanga to discuss the popularity of bubblies and food pairings among other things.