What’s the Difference Between Champagne, MCC, & Sparkling Wine?

Krone MCC

Sparkling wine, Champagne, and Method Cap Classique, they’re all the same thing, right? Not quite! Listen, drinking bubbly doesn’t have to be confusing but if you’re keen to know exactly what you’re spending your money on when you’re shelling out for a bottle of celebration juice then this handy guide is just the thing you need. Here’s the difference between Champagne, Method Cap Classique and Sparkling Wine.


Bubbly is produced all over the world, but if you want to call your bubbly a ‘Champagne’ then legal structures dictate that only bubblies from the Champagne region, made in accordance with Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne regulations can officially be labelled as a Champagne. The requirements are quite strict and the list of requirements is quite in-depth, including details like pruning, vineyard yield, the degree of pressing, and the time that wine must remain on the lees before bottling.

Paul René MCC

Method Cap Classique (MCC)

South African wineries make some pretty stellar bubblies and MCC is basically the South African version of Champagne. Using the exact same method used to craft Champagne, South Africa’s stellar MCCs are made by creating a second fermentation in the bottle. The great news is, that while our MCCs are every bit as impressive, premium, and delicious as our French cousin’s varietals, we can get them at a fraction of the cost of French Champagne!

For the ultimate summer MCC try the Paul René MCC Rosé. This refreshing, modern style wine is made using 75% Pinot Noir and 25% Chardonnay grapes before fermenting each bottle for 24 months on the lees at a consistent temperature of 14 degrees Celsius, before disgorgement.


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Sparkling wine

If you’re after something a little less fancy-pants than Champagne or MCC then sparkling wine is your best bet. These wines are a lot more affordable but will still give you that little bit of fizz you’re looking for when celebrating a special occasion. Any other wine with bubbles that is not classified as Champagne or MCC, is known as a sparkling wine. But that doesn’t mean they’re not any good. While many sparkling wines are just impregnated with CO2 bubbles to give that sparkling effect, there are loads of other great examples of sparkling wine that are made by imitating the Champagne method.

Try the Steenberg Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc. This Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc is made to be fun, fruity and fresh. The nose bursts with aromas of passion fruit, pink grapefruit, melon, guava, mango and green fig. The palate is fresh and zingy with hints of pineapple and passion fruit with a long, lingering aftertaste and a refreshing finish – perfect for a hot summer’s day.

Want more food and wine news? Check out our Food section for restaurant reviews, recipes, foodie features, and news to make you salivate.

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