We chat to sommelier, restaurateur and wine-list consultant Khuselo Mputa
Can you tell the difference between a Champagne and an MCC by taste
alone? Yes, amazingly, it’s very clear in most cases. Champagne grows in a special terroir, which results in a distinctive fruit and acid balance. Compared with Champagne, MCC is more fruity and less acidic. Think of a Granny Smith apple versus a Golden Delicious one: Champagne is the Granny Smith and MCC the Golden Delicious. Why do sparkling wines have a lower alcohol content than table wines? This comes from the farming and wine-making techniques, but is also directly linked to the harvest. When grapes are harvested for Champagne, they have a much lower sugar level and higher acidity and, because there is less sugar to convert, the end product has less alcohol. What’s the ideal temperature to serve a sparkling wine? Between 8˚C (for younger or non- vintage) and 12˚C (for older MCCs and vintage Champagnes). What’s unique about the taste of Prosecco? It’s a sparkling wine from the North-East Italian wine region of Veneto, and is made from a grape called Glera. This makes Prosecco unique, as it’s the only sparkling wine made from this grape.