As bubbly has increased in popularity in South Africa over the last few years, there’s been a surge of festivals that celebrate this joyful drink. However, there’s just one festival that’s dedicate purely to champagne.

“There are other ‘bubbly’ festivals around, but none which exclusively serve Champagne – meaning sparkling wine made in the Champagne region in France,” said Shaun Anderson, rights owner of the Absa Champagne Festival and chairman of the Champagne Importers Association.

Festival attendees will be able to taste more than 100 champagnes all under one roof. “This is a real highlight and an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and find new favourites. We started with 17 champagne houses and now have close to 40, including a new generation of independent growers such as Valentin Leflaive and Hugues Godme,” Anderson said.

“While South Africa’s Méthode Cap Classique sparkling wines are made in the same manner as champagne, the warmer climate in South Africa results in grapes with a higher sugar level that have to be picked very early. In France, the cold northerly vineyards have chalky soils and produce grapes that make a wine which is bone dry, offering a crisp, steely freshness that is classically champagne. They also have a relatively low alcohol content, meaning you can drink it with breakfast, lunch or dinner.”

Different champagnes are best suited to specific foods, and so the canapés provided on the night have been perfectly matched.  Designer canapés, including smoked salmon roll-ups or mini tacos with BBQ chicken and mango chilli salsa, will be served as guests arrive. Buckets of freshly-shucked oysters on crushed ice will have a variety of toppings including lemon, chilli or soy pearls, beetroot or Kimchi salt.

The event takes place at the Inanda Club from October 31 to November 2. Tickets, at R995 per person, can be purchased from www.absachampagnefest.co.za/

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