FILE PHOTO: Prosecco bottles in the Valdobbiadene valley, northern Italy
FILE PHOTO: Prosecco bottles in the Valdobbiadene valley, northern Italy

Has prosecco lost favour amongst the young and trendy?

By Buhle Mbonambi Time of article published Aug 29, 2019

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I was at my boss's house when she asked if we wanted some prosecco with our lunch. 

"Yes, please," was the chorus, even though we did not know what it was. A Google search enlightened us and we became fans of the cool Italian sparkling wine that was cheaper and, in our eyes, cooler than champagne.

That was 2014. 

A few months later we wrote a piece on how prosecco was the new champagne and we started having it with our food and preferring to order it at restaurants. 

A citrus salad with pink and white grapefruit; blood oranges, navel oranges and Cara Cara oranges, and sweet Meyer lemon topped with prosecco. PICTURE: The New York Times
We wrote about why you should cook with it and why it needs to be the bubbly you pop on New Year's Eve. 

It had many things going for it.

It's Italian, which immediately adds to its luxury feel. The name is really cool and sounds expensive; you don't need a sophisticated palette- it's a very easy and light sparkling wine, which increased its appeal and, best of all, it's affordable. 

Soon we saw more restaurants and stores carrying prosecco brands and our inboxes were inundated with press releases telling us how great prosecco is and why it's the next major drink everyone will be drinking that season. 

The UK is partly responsible for the prosecco boom. 

Paging through any UK magazine or reading the food and beverages sections of websites, you would find a lot of content around prosecco; from reviews of the best to the worst, which one to serve at your wedding or summer party and why the world is obsessed with the beverage.

This happened for 10 years, until earlier this year, ahead of the UK summer, reports started coming out that people didn't seem to favour the drink anymore, preferring English bubbly, Champagne and Cava, the Spanish bubbly.
FILE PHOTO: A sommelier pours a glass of Zonin prosecco sparkling wine at the 50th Vinitaly international wine and spirits exhibition in Verona
Now, prosecco is not as popular as it used to be. 

Last year prosecco sales dropped by 7%. 

Food writers and critics have started turning against the wine, with one writing: "Prosecco is disgusting. It’s the worst drink you can get, apart from milk coke which is less of a drink and more of an abomination", and "Its fun, fizzy facade blinded us to the fact that much of the bargain Italian bubbles you find in pubs, restaurant and supermarket shelves is, in fact, sherberty and headache-inducing".

Forbes's Nick Passmore wrote that he was fed up with the prosecco obsession and preferred Trentodoc, another Italian sparkling wine. 

Another reason, it seems, is that it's apparently bad for the environment, thanks to growers planting more vines in land that was dedicated to forests and pastureland. 

It seems what hurt prosecco the most is that it's no longer cool and its availability adds to the loss of its lustre. And even with the rumoured launch of rose prosecco, people are likely to skip on the drink.

So I guess this summer ordering prosecco will a faux pas? 

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