Unless you’ve been living underneath a rock these last five years, you’ll have noticed something interesting happening in the supermarkets and wine merchants of the UK – Prosecco is now everywhere.
Once a tiny shred of the wine market, Prosecco is now officially bigger than Champagne in the UK, with sales in the UK over the past 12 months totalling over £338 million, an increase of over 72%.
That meteoric growth has driven countless think pieces and a huge increase of orders from the big supermarkets, but what’s behind it? Let’s take a look.
Prosecco for beginners.
Prosecco, for those who don’t already know, is a sparkling wine from north-eastern Italy. More specifically, it’s a product of the Veneto region around Venice, leading up to the former Yugoslavian border.
Often confused with Champagne, Prosecco is produced in a much less complex manner, therefore producing a simpler flavour.
The biggest difference is in the fermentation stage. Champagne’s second fermentation stage takes place in the bottle that you buy off the shelf, but in the case of Prosecco, it’s made in a massive tank. That gives Processo a much fruitier flavour than Champagne, bringing peaches, pears and apples to the front of the palate.
In turn, that gives Prosecco a much more approachable flavour profile, as well as a much more ‘drinkable’ taste for those that like a less demanding bubbly drink.
What’s behind its popularity?
Well, the UK has always had a soft spot for bubbly drinks (especially those that have alcohol in them), but that’s only part of the driving force behind Prosecco’s newfound popularity.
Indeed, one of the major driving forces behind it have been TV chefs and wine experts, who have been gently increasing public visibility of Prosecco for years. Because it’s such a light and fizzy drink, it pairs beautifully with a huge range of foods, making it a favourite for TV wine pundits.
Another big contributing factor has been the exceptional affordability of the drink. Pleasant bottles can be picked up for around £7 and fine examples rarely cost more than £15, putting it in the budget wine category.
So, with Prosecco booming in popularity, does Champagne have anything to worry about? We don’t think so, but who knows, Prosecco could yet take over the world!