Méthode Cap Classique (MCC) is South Africa’s version of champagne. It’s made using the same traditional French champagne method (methode champenoise). The difference between South African MCC and French champagne is that it doesn’t use Champagne grapes, which can only be grown in Champagne region of France. South African MCCs, on the other hand, use local grapes like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Méthode Cap Classique is not the same thing as sparkling wine. Most sparkling wines in South Africa are either tank-fermented or injected with carbon dioxide—they not made using the traditional French method.
How to spot the difference
Look closely at the bubbles:
- MCC will have tiny bubbles with refined effervescence
- Sparkling wine has a larger, coarser fizz
You can also get bottle-fermented wines that are not MCC; although they have been fermented, they have not gone through the same lengthy process as MCC wines.
How to enjoy South African MCC
Méthode Cap Classique provides a full sensory experience. It is also regarded as one of the most versatile wines, since it can be enjoyed throughout the day and evening, even at breakfast! MCCs pair well with dishes such as canapés, oysters, cheese, chicken and fish; sweeter bubbles can be paired with light curries and desserts. Like traditional champagne, MCC is also a celebratory drink, enjoyed at special occasions and celebrations.
What to look for in a good MCC
The main criteria used to determine a top-quality MCC:
- Vintage (the year the grapes are harvested)
- Cultivar (the name given to the type of grapes used)
- Sugar level
The MCC at Quoin Rock is made using a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The cultivars are sourced from several very different terroirs—Stellenbosch (Quoin Rock Wine Estate) and Elim farm. This gives Quoin Rock’s MCC a very distinctive flavour:
- The Elim grapes provide a crisp acidity and freshness
- The Stellenbosch fraction adds length and body with fruit
Quoin Rock’s MCC also spends a lengthy 54 months on the second fermentation lees in the bottle, which allows beautiful brioche aromas to develop. Quoin Rock MCC is the perfect companion for meal or light picnic snacks on a warm summer’s day. The distinctive tiny bubbles create an elegant drink that can be served the finest fare, or simply chilled, popped and poured with laughter and celebrations!