Pongrácz NV Brut Sparkling Wine ~$15

The Cap Classique term used on the label is just the South African term for the French “champenoise” method. This just means that the wine in the bottle you hold in your hands is the same bottle in which both primary and secondary fermentation occurred. And there was some kind of riddling. The whole Champagne process is enormously fascinating but not, I realize, appropriate for right here and now.

The label language you do need to pay attention to is “Brut.” This is not a sweet sparkler like Ogio’s Prosecco. It’s a dry wine that features prominent grapefruit and lime on the palate. The promise of yeasty notes on the nose (a hallmark of tasty Champagnes) is unfulfilled.

The Pongrácz Sparkling Wine is not a bad wine (I prefer it to the Ogio, but I’m not a big fan of off-dry sparklers). Actually, it’s pretty good and I think it would pair up very nicely with spicy Thai food. It has some good depth. It’s just that if your “Champagne” budget is in the $15-20 range, I’d recommend going to a good local wine retailer and asking for a grower Champagne from France. The value-to-price ratio for these bottles is still quite stunning.


Drinkability: 7.5/10
Price: 3.5/5
Total value: 11/15

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