Méthode Cap Classique, or MCC for short, is the name given to some South African sparkling wines. The quality can be compared to the wines produced in Champagne and it is becoming increasingly popular as it is often more affordable than a comparable Champagne.

Here are ten facts you need to know about MCC.

Ten Methode Cap Classique Facts:

1. MCC is made using the traditional method or methode champenoise that is used to make Champagne. This method puts the wine through a second fermentation in the bottle to create the bubbles. No carbon dioxide is used in the making of MCC.

2. During the second fermentation, sediment forms in the bottle from the dead yeast cells. A process called remuage or riddling is used to move the sediment towards the neck of the bottle. It involves turning the bottles every day for a few weeks.

3. Once the sediment has collected in the MCC bottle's neck, the bottles are submerged upside down in a very cold brine bath that freezes the sediment. The bottles are turned right side up and quickly opened. The pressure from inside the bottle forces the sediment plug out. This process is called dégorgement or disgorging.

4. Grape varieties used to make Champagne such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are most often used to produce MCC.

5. Having appeared around 50 years ago in South Africa, MCC has rapidly grown to become an extremely popular wine.

6. The best temperature to serve MCC is between 6 and 8°C.

7. The first MCC was created at Simonsig winery in 1971.

8. The USA, UK and Sweden are the top 3 international importers of MCC.

9. MCC must be served in a tall, narrow flute in order to preserve the bubbles for longer.

10. MCC is a very versatile wine that pairs well with many dishes. The delicate flavours pair well with oysters, canapés, cheeses, chicken and fish and sweeter MCCs pair well with light curry and desserts.

Hard to Fine Wines stocks a number of MCCs that you could try, including Le Lude and Haute Cabriere.

Le Lude

Haute Cabriere