Perceivably also creating a very dangerous working environment. (Death by Cork.) As a result, Pérignon spent a great deal of time devising methods to remove these bubbles of wrath, while becoming an advocate for making white wine from red grapes, believing them to be more flavourful than when made from white grape varieties. (Hence the frequent use of Pinot Noir in Champagne production.)

The bubbles, it turns out, stem from a second fermentation which occurred naturally in the Champagne region. Due to the cold climate, grapes were picked late in the season, bottled, and when the temperatures started to rise again the excess yeast in the bottled wine would proceed to process the excess sugar and create carbon dioxide bubbles. While not a welcome result at the time, the idea of the Champagne bubble was eventually embraced as a happy, if not fortuitous accident. The courts of Europe soon developed a specific taste for sparkling Champagne and rightly so. That second fermentation not only created the iconic bubble, but imparted a new flavour; a biscuity, brioche caramel which resulted from prolonged contact on the lees (dead yeast - for want of a better word).


Now one might argue that even though Champagne is the only area in the world legally allowed to produce Champagne (as stated in the Treaty of Madrid and reaffirmed in the Treaty of Versailles), that there are other locations capable of producing sparkling wines of similar, if not competing quality. Take South African Méthode Cap Classique, a method of winemaking based on the traditional Méthode Champenoise, but made within the realms of our South African wine regions. One might be tempted to compare, and given our catalogue, to oblige.

Serving suggestions: Hold the cork and turn the bottle, to avoid cork-related injuries. Chill the wine to around 7°C.

When attempting Sabrage: Watch instructional video; Reconsider; Chill wine sufficiently for glass to crack; Execute with confidence (wavering might result in untold disaster).