It’s International Champagne Day on Friday 21st October! Actually, I think every day is pretty much champagne day although sadly my bank manager and my wallet don’t agree with me!
If you’re slightly better off than me, there are some delicious Champagnes on the market ranging from the excellent-value entry level Comtesse Alexia from Woolworths (R375) to the delicious and savoury Laurent Perrier Brut (around R500).
But we don’t have to drink Champagne in SA because actually, we have our own version – Cap Classique – offering the same method of getting bubbles in the bottle and often with the same fabulous yeasty, savoury, lemony notes and all for a fraction of the cost.
WATCH: What's the difference between the French and English-style MCC?
Here are a few bubbles that I think you should be sipping on to celebrate the world's most beautiful fizzy beverage!
Christina van Loveren MCC Brut NV (R120 cellar door)
There is a very reasonable argument to be made for saying Robertson produces the finest MCCs – think Graham Beck, Silverthorn, Weltevrede and more. It’s to do with the soils which have a high limestone content in them, similar to Champagne and this wine benefits from that fresh chalky minerality as well. Smartly-packaged in new livery, this is a lovely fizz to enjoy with smoked salmon or mackerel pate.
Pierre Jourdan Blanc de Blancs NV (R126 cellar door)
One of the nation’s favourite is on an upward curve with a new winemaker (Takuan von Arnim taking over from his dad) and a new emphasis on quality. This is now viewed as the flagship sparkler for Haute Cabriere and it is a lovely drop made from Chardonnay, 40% of which has had a touch of richness added from time spent in oak. Excellent price for this quality of wine.
Kleine Zalze Vintage MCC 2011 (R160 cellar door)
A great combination of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (60/40) which spent 3 years on the lees and then received a very low dosage (sugar adjustment before the cork is inserted). What does that all mean for the flavour? Well, it means lots of it in short! Plenty of creamy, yeasty, salty notes with crisp ginger biscuits and lemons. Yum!
Avondale Armilla 2009 (R235 cellar door)
A highly-decorated, organic MCC and it’s easy to see why it has found such favour both here at home and overseas. Made from Chardonnay, a portion of which was barrel-fermented, and aged on the lees for 36 months, this is a rich, full and satisfying wine with creamy lemons and salty oyster notes. Perfect with the exciting dishes at the new Faber restaurant on the estate!
Boschendal Chardonnay/Pinot Noir 2016 (R100 cellar door)
And it’s not actually bubbly but it’s halfway there! If you want an MCC flavour without the feel of bubbles, try this new release from bubbly-meisters, Boschendal. It has the prettiest packaging I’ve seen in a long while and the wine lives up to the look being crisp and lively with delicious strawberry flavours. Nicely-dry, perfect for summer foods.
And since we’re talking all things bubbly….
PJ Popsicles! (R25 from leading retailers!)
Okay, I may be pushing the Champagne angle to the extremes here but hey – it’s almost summer so why not?! These are a fun way to get your Pierre Jourdan bubble fix this summer, sitting in the garden, enjoying the sunshine. Just remember they do contain alcohol so don’t eat them driving back from the store and don’t share them with the kids!
What bubbly will you be enjoying on International Champagne Day?! Tell us below.