Ask a Wino: Difference Between MCC and Champagne

written by Josiah Kahiu 6th November 2018

Our in-house wine expert Josiah Kahiu explains the difference between Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) and Champagne.

Photo: https://www.waterfordestate.co.za – Méthode Cap Classiqu

When it comes to sparkling wines, Méthode Cap Classique or MCC is quite similar to Champagne but not entirely the same. One main difference is that Champagne can only be made with grapes grown in a specific area (Champagne) in the North East of France. Champagne is made from still wine usually Chardonnay or Pinot Noir and is made using a second round of fermentation after the base wine has been formed. This secondary fermentation occurs in the bottle creating the natural fizz in the bottle. It is important to note that unlike most sparkling wines, no carbon dioxide is added to making Champagne.

Both Champagne and MCC use the traditional French fermenting method which can be quite labour intensive. MCC is generally a term used to describe South African sparkling wines made from the traditional secondary fermentation process. Grapes are picked early in the season to ensure they are low in sugar and high in acid. The resulting wine made from these grapes undergoes a secondary fermentation in bottle where the bubbles are created by a process of natural fermentation as opposed to artificially adding carbonation like most sparkling wines.

MCCs are a good alternative to Champagne due to their affordability and are often on par with most Champagnes. Above all, Champagne and MCCs are elegant, refined, good for a multitude of occasions and are most importantly delicious!

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