Above: Gently sparkling “frizzante” wines are often sold on tap in Italy, including Verduzzo like the one above and even sparkling Gavi. By law, throughout Europe, sparkling Glera can only be sold as “Prosecco” if it’s packaged in a glass bottle.
Already this week, there have been two high-profile posts on the brewing “Prosecco on tap” controversy in the UK.
Both address the growing concern over sparkling Glera packaged in keg and sold in Britain as “Prosecco.”
According to EU law, sparkling Glera cannot be sold or marketed as “Prosecco” unless it is packaged in a glass bottle.
In Italy, Prosecco growers and bottlers can report restaurateurs and pub owners for selling keg Glera as Prosecco.
Last year, the Prosecco consortium instituted a monitoring system whereby its agents make anonymous visits to Italian venues suspected of selling sparkling Glera in keg as Prosecco.
But in the UK, bottlers and growers don’t have any recourse because they have no authority to address the issue there.
Currently, there is a proposal to allow Prosecco producers to “police” counterfeit Prosecco in EU countries beyond Italy. But there is no system currently in place.
The issue is exacerbated by the fact that Prosecco sales have grown nearly 70 percent in the UK by some accounts.
There’s a sense that Prosecco has reached a turning point, where Prosecco the “brand” has begun to eclipse Prosecco the wine.
We’ll continue to follow the situation and report updates here.