EX­PERT OPIN­ION

We chat to som­me­lier, restau­ra­teur and wine-list con­sul­tant Khuselo Mputa

Elle Decoration (South Africa) - - EATS - @khuselom­puta

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.

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