The Bubbly Box is helping wine lovers 'discover the joy' of local MCCs

What started as a fun hobby for four ladies has grown into an online boutique store that focuses exclusively on sparkling wines

01 August 2021 - 00:00 By hilary biller
Left to right, Sarah-Anne Alman, Nicola Weaver, Tarryn Valle and Elli Yiannakaris celebrate the joy of bubbles.
Left to right, Sarah-Anne Alman, Nicola Weaver, Tarryn Valle and Elli Yiannakaris celebrate the joy of bubbles.
Image: Supplied

A glass of bubbly is a great way to celebrate any occasion, especially after the recent lifting of the ban on the sale of alcohol. We often forget that SA produces an excellent selection of Méthode Cap Classiques (MCCs) made in the very same way as champagne, but for a fraction of the price.

Bubbly Box is the initiative of four ladies - Sarah-Anne Alman, Nicola Weaver, Tarryn Valle and Elli Yiannakaris - who for fun started a "bubbly club" a few years ago with the aim of discovering and enjoying the many (affordable) MCCs on the local market. They were surprised to find so many of them.

Said Yiannakaris: "People kept asking if they could join our bubbly club, so we decided to launch Bubbly Box as these cap classiques aren't always known or easy to find. We wanted to bring them together in one place for more people to discover the joy of South African cap classique."

Today they are the only online boutique store that focuses exclusively on cap classiques.

When asked to share their favourite trio of local sparklers, "it was like choosing a favourite child", said Yiannakaris.

Here are their top three:

Colmant Blanc de Blancs

"Colmant is the first cellar in the country to be dedicated solely to the production of cap classique. They released their introductory cap classique in 2008 and have gone on to make some of the most exquisite bubblies in SA with impeccable precision and great passion," said Yiannakaris.

"The Blanc de Blancs is delicate, crisp and seductive - we just love it. Paul Gerber, the winemaker at Colmant, was also one of the original people to support our business idea."

Silverthorn Green Man

"Silverthorn Wines is a boutique estate in the Roberston wine valley, it is also one of only a handful of producers dedicated solely to the production of cap classique. And you can tell they have specialist focus - their cap classiques are incredible," said Yiannakaris.

"We chose the Green Man [also a blanc de blancs] not only because it's elegant and delicious but because it was the bubbly we were drinking when we decided to start Bubbly Box. So for us, it's a sentimental choice and represents where our journey began."

Genevieve Rosé

"This is a brand-new release from winemaker Melissa 'Genevieve' Nelsen in Bot River and one of the special bubblies in our Women Winemakers Collection Case (details below)," said Yiannakaris.

"The rose gold colour was the first thing that caught our attention - it's simply gorgeous. It's 100% shiraz, which is unique for a bubbly. With tasting notes of white strawberry, pomegranate and sherbet popsicle.

"Genevieve's philosophy to think big also really inspired us. She says: 'My mother always encouraged me to be uncompromising and expansive in my vision. It was from this encouragement to think big that Genevieve was created.' We're thinking big for Bubbly Box!" 

BUY SiX BUBBLIES BY WOMEN FOR WOMEN’S DAY

In honour of Women's Day on August 9, the Bubbly Box ladies have put together a special Women Winemakers Collection Case, which comprises six MCCs made by female winemakers. The price is R1,450 for six bottles and includes free delivery nationwide. For more information, see Bubblybox.co.za or @Bubblyboxza on Instagram.


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