The answer (in this instance) is when it comes out of a tap.  With the seemingly unstoppable rise in popularity and consumption of this Italian sparkling wine, bars and restaurants are very sensibly getting in on the action and serving Prosecco by the glass to their customers (a marvellous idea we say).  Some bars are now bringing in Italian sparkling wine by the keg and pouring it from a tap – much like beer or lager.  The problem is you can no longer call it Prosecco.  According to the law, Prosecco must be stored in a bottle.  The sparkling wine from a keg is therefore not Prosecco and this has caused a group of Italian winemakers to initiate legal action against British pubs and restaurants serving the wine from a keg and calling it Prosecco.  

Prosecco is not a synonym for sparkling wine or even Italian sparkling wine.  Prosecco is the name for sparkling wine made by a particular method (not the same as Champagne) using a particular variety of grape (called Glera) grown in a specific region (the Veneto region of NE Italy) with specific rules governing all kinds of things from the maximum permitted yields to the type of bottle it has to be stored in.  Anything else is simply not Prosecco.  Italian sparkling wine made from the same grape grown in the same area and made the same way served from a keg may be very similar but it’s not the same.

The rules and regulations surrounding wine and myriad other products are at times complicated and can seem unnecessary (and irrelevant) to the end user but the philosophy behind it is about protecting provenance, a unique identity and quality.  The name Prosecco carries meaning.  Because of this, any time you buy and drink a bottle of Prosecco there should be some consistency of flavour and style.  The famously well-protected identity of Champagne is the most obvious comparison.  Sparkling wine from anywhere else in the world is simply not Champagne.  

The recipe and techniques can be copied and replicated anywhere else but the fact of the matter is if it doesn’t come from that particular area around Reims in northern France and made in strict adherence to all the quality laws tied up in that name it’s just not Champagne.  The law is there to protect genuine producers and to protect the consumer. The question of how much consumers care is perhaps less clear.  Would this wine be any less popular if sold as Italian sparkling wine? How much would you care if the sparkling wine you were buying came from a keg?

Why not try some of the fabulous Prosecco we have in stock. 

Nino Franco Prosecco San Flori

Nino Franco Prosecco San Flori 12/13 6pk

£18.75 / €30.50

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Nino Franco Prosecco Rustico 

Nino Franco Prosecco Rustico 6pk

£15.99 / €27.50

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Sartarelli Brut Spumante

Sartarelli Brut Spumante 6pk

£15.95 / €26.99

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