Next Level MCC @ Tsogo Sun


The power and reach of SA sommeliers was underlined at the Amorim Tsogo Sun MCC Challenge yesterday at the Cullinan Hotel. Exhibit A was the number of entries – 102 – double last year, thanks to the persuasive power and smart phone of Miguel Chan, Tsogo group sommelier. Western Cape head sommelier and judge Georgio Meletiou confirmed that the Cullinan now offers 32 MCCs by the glass making MCC a popular aperitif for Cullinan diners. Quite why anyone still buys Riedel flutes for Champagne is a mystery after we tasted bubblies in Montrachet balloons from Crystal Direct (shown below) at a tiny fraction of the Riedel cost. Let’s call them Exhibit B.

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Foreign judge and Exhibit C was Jaume Gramona Marti (below with Amorim big corkamorimcork Next Level MCC @ Tsogo Sun
by Amorim Cork
Joaquim Sa) from Spanish cava producer Gramona who admitted he’d never tasted so many bubblies so quickly as he did yesterday. But then this is a serious business and linking up with five star hotels makes excellent sense. Not least for the judges, who were offered complementary accommodation in a suite by a passing Tsogo executive who dropped by for a photo opportunity. Synergy in action, you could call it.

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As far as the bubblies went, my favourites were vintage blends of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with 2009 blowing my doors off. Confirming that most SA MCC is consumed too young with lees and bottle age adding complexity and interest to the category.