FEATURES » Is the UK falling out of love with Prosecco?

Is the UK falling out of love with Prosecco?

In the last decade there has been no stop to the selling of prosecco in the UK. However, the party might be over as Coldiretti, Italian biggest farming association, reported that exports of the Italian sparkling wine dropped by seven per cent in the first half of this year.

The agricultural association blamed Brexit for the 7% drop in Italian Prosecco exported to the UK in the first half of the year.

Prosecco trade seemed to be affected by uncertainty caused by Brexit and fake news claiming that prosecco ruins teeth and erodes gums.

The British Dental Association which was the source of the controversial news said it had no specific agenda against prosecco, and that the fizzy wine, like other food and drink products with lots of sugar, needed to be consumed in moderation. 

The decline in exports could also be a result of the British market reaching a plateau after so many years of growth. The market might have reached saturation and British consumers are also turning increasingly to English sparkling wines. This is possibly due to the weak pound that has meant that English fizz is more affordable than ever compared to its continental counterparts. Sales of English sparkling wines are up seven per cent compared with 2016.

However, Italy might have lost its favourite market but other markets continue to boom. Sales of prosecco to Germany and the United States, the next two biggest overseas markets, are up by five per cent compared to last year.

This year’s Italian harvest is expected to be a good one, with Italy predicted to produce 700 million bottles of sparkling wine, two-thirds of which will be prosecco.

The question now is: are English sparkling wines really going to replace prosecco? British “prosecco” is not quite the same as its original. Last year some bars and pubs in Britain have been reported selling prosecco on tap. A group of prosecco makers, with the support of the Italian government, threatened legal action and fines against British pubs for serving the fizzy wine from kegs.

Serving prosecco by pump was popular with all the customers who did not want to order a whole bottle. Though, an Italian person would never buy prosecco on tap knowing that it cannot be prosecco.

Giulia Lombardo

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