Strictly speaking one can really only label a sparkling wine made in the Champagne region of France using the Champenoise method as champagne . It generally carries a hefty price tag, but there are many other excellent choices available from other parts of the world. In fact, there are 23 regions outside of France where sparkling wine is made.
In South Africa, we call the champagne method Method Cap Classique. It means that the wine undergoes a second fermentation in the bottle, resulting in a fine mousse that lingers in the glass, and very delicate champagne flavours. It is a very costly, time consuming process, since every bottle must be rotated ever so slightly on a daily basis during fermentation, so the yeast cells can collect in the neck of the bottle. After fermentation the wine is disgorged, that is, the neck is frozen and the yeast sediment removed before the cork is inserted. Many of the South African wines made in this way are every bit as good as champagne, but since we can’t call ours that, you will often hear it referred to as MCC, or Cap Classique.
In Italy, the same method is called Metodo Classico, while in Spain you can look for Cava on the label. In Germany it is called Sekt, while in Portugal and Argentina it’s labelled Espumanté. And in the USA, Australia and Chile they call their champagne style wines Méthode Champenoise.
Méthode Champenoise isn’t the only way to make a sparkling wine. There is also Méthode Charmat, where the second fermentation takes place in tank, not in bottle. It generally yields bigger bubbles than MCC. And lastly, when carbon gas is pumped through a base wine to create bubbles in a base wine, it is referred to as carbonation. This method is mostly used for entry level sparkling wines. Read more on Wine folly.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s