The boom of Prosecco

Champagne is of course the traditional drink of parties and celebrations, but in recent years, Prosecco has emerged as a close rival to the ever-popular French fizz. Originating in Italy, Prosecco is a light sparkling white wine, available in spumante (fully sparkling) or frizzante (lightly sparkling) varieties. Italians have long regarded it as an everyday wine, and now UK wine drinkers are discovering its easy charms too.
Sales of Prosecco have risen hugely over the past few years, contributing greatly to the overall rise of the wine industry. In 2013, it overtook global Champagne sales for the first time. In 2014 alone, sales rose almost 75% in the UK. There are several possible reasons for the boom; one of the primary factors seems to be its affordability, especially when compared to Champagne, which is regarded as expensive and luxurious. In fact, many bottles are available for under £10, making it one of the most accessible options for wine lovers. As the rise in Prosecco seemed to coincide with the economic crash, it seems that more drinkers are demanding affordable wines, and Prosecco certainly fits the bill.
Prosecco is easy to drink, with its light, fresh and fruity flavours, which makes it much more approachable and less intimidating than the complex notes of Champagne. It is also extremely versatile; it can be served quite happily on its own, but it goes beautifully with many mixers and is a key ingredient in various cocktails, including the classic Bellini, a mixture of Prosecco and peach puree. It can also be used as a cheaper alternative to Champagne in cocktails such as the Kir Royal and Mimosa.
Prosecco can be drunk as an aperitif, as a celebratory drink, as an accompaniment to a meal or dessert, or simply as an everyday treat. Although in the news recently we have seen that the weather conditions in northern Italy have resulted in a poorer grape harvest than usual, leading to a possible Prosecco shortage, it seems that the popularity of this fun and accessible wine is showing no signs of slowing down.