What does the sparkling wine abbreviation “MCC” refer to?

Ask Dr Vinny

Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, but you can call me Vinny. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the fine points of etiquette to the science of winemaking. And don't worry, I'm no wine snob—you can also ask me those "dumb questions" you're too embarrased to ask your wine geek friends! I hope you find my answers educational, empowering and even amusing. And don't forget to check out my most asked questions and my full archives for all my Q&A classics.

Dear Dr. Vinny,

What does the wine abbreviation “MCC” refer to?

—Oyugi, Kenya

Dear Oyugi,

“MCC” is an abbreviation for “méthode cap classique,” a category of sparkling wines made in South Africa. It means the bubbly was made in the traditional method of Champagne production, where a secondary fermentation happens inside the bottle. It’s more labor-intensive than other methods, such as charmat.

MCC and traditional method sparkling wines tend to have finer bubbles and more detailed aromas and flavors, including some yeasty notes, but some folks prefer the fresher fruit flavors (and lower price tags) of sparkling wines made via other methods.

—Dr. Vinny

Ask Dr. Vinny Sparkling Wines Winemaking Techniques Explained South Africa

More In Dr. Vinny

Is it true that Madeira never goes bad? Why?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains why Madeira is immune to many of the hazards of …

Jul 10, 2020

Can I keep a half-full bottle of wine and serve it a few weeks later?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains how wine changes once the cork comes out of the …

Jul 8, 2020

In what ways do old and new wines smell and taste differently?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains how wines change in flavor and aroma as they age.

Jul 6, 2020

Is it possible to “fix” cork-tainted wine with plastic wrap? How does that work?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains where cork taint comes from, and why PVC wrap …

Jul 3, 2020

If most vines are grafted onto rootstocks, why do some grapevines thrive in soils where others struggle?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny, with an assist from U.C. Davis' viticulture department, …

Jul 1, 2020

What does “buttery” mean when talking about Chardonnay?

Wine Spectator's expert Dr. Vinny explains where "buttery" flavors come from in wine.

Jun 29, 2020