While Champagne might have become a generic word people use to describe any type of sparkling wine, it’s very naughty to do so. The name is legally protected by the EU under the Protected Designation of Origin status and may only refer to sparkling wines made according to specific criteria in the Champagne area in France. Typically, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes are used in the production of the wine, which is fermented for a second time in bottles.
Try: Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Brut French Champagne, R 499.95 for 750 ml
Méthode Cap Classique
Our South African bubbly makers can give those in Champagne a run for their money, but alas, as we’ve explained above, we can’t call it Champagne. Enter the term Méthode Cap Classique (or MCC), which refers to bubbles made in South Africa in the same way as traditional Champagne, usually with Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes.
Try: Villiera MCC Brut Natural, R 129.95 for 750 ml
Prosecco is the main ingredient in a classic Bellini cocktail, where the sparkling wine is mixed with peach purée. Prosecco hails from the Veneto region in Italy and is made according to the Charmat method, where the wine is usually fermented for a second time in tanks as opposed to in bottles. This means the bubbly is less expensive to produce than true Champagne. Prosecco can also be made with the same technique as MCC.
Try: Astoria Prosecco DOC Italian Sparkling, R 99.95 for 750 ml
Comparatively inexpensive, sparkling wine is made by injecting carbon dioxide gas directly into the wine. This is the same technique used to make fizzy drinks or, in your own home, the classic Soda Stream. Carbonating wine generally produces large bubbles that dissipate quickly.
Try: Spumante Brut Sparkling, R49.95 for 750 ml