Champagne Faces Strong Competition Against Europe’s “Other” Sparkling Wines

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Champagne is losing its sparkle in Europe. In 2014, for the sixth year running, exports of cava—Spain’s most-loved sparkling white wine—exceeded France’s exports of champagne. Exports of cava have risen from just 10 million bottles in 1980 to 154.7 million bottles in 2014.

Italian prosecco is also out to seize the crown from France’s “king of sparkling wine.” According to MailOnline, prosecco exports to the UK—the biggest single export market for the drink—jumped 40.2% in 2014, while champagne exports to the country dropped by 5.1%.

To the casual drinker, these alternative sparkling wines offer great quality at a much more affordable price. So much so that Europeans no longer need a special occasion to celebrate with fizz. People are ordering a glass of prosecco at their local bar or restaurant just as they would a glass of beer or wine.

Testament to this trend is the introduction of prosecco “on tap” in pubs across the UK and Ireland. Although this practice originally met with objection from prosecco producers in Italy, the bars won out and continue to pump out bubbles from 5 euros a glass.

Meanwhile, Decanter reports that exports of champagne will overtake French sales for the first time in 2015. Could the French be hitting the prosecco, too?

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