With Prosecco taking the world by storm, the threat of shortages due to high demand and poor vintages is making everyone wonder how long can the trend last?
The short answer is ‘a while yet’ so don’t panic, but the industry is also seeing some encouraging growth in other styles of sparkling wine as consumers get braver explore the category.
Prosecco has really broken the mould in terms of <em>when</em> people will drink fizz – no longer do consumers limit buying bubbles for special occasions, they’re now happy to drink it any day of the week, at almost anytime! This in turn has opened up the fizz market and here are our top tips for riding the Prosecco wave and keeping your customers engaged.
Crémant is a style of French sparkling wine with it’s origines firmly in Champagne. Made in the same traditional method as Champagne, but not necessarily from the same grape varieties, these delicious bubbles are produced in regions such as Alsace, Burgundy and the Loire. Because they are not made in the Champagne region, they cannot be labelled as such, but they offer the Champagne style at a great price point. One of our favourites is Crémant d’Alsace Brut from Michel Leon – made with Pinot Blanc to give a really aromatic style.
English Sparkling Wines
The cooler climate of the UK makes for great sparkling winemaking conditions. Brands such as Cornwall’s Camel Valley have received international acclaim for their wines and really put England on the map as a serious sparkling wine producer. Whilst some wineries like Sharpham in Devon emulate the Champagne style using the classic varietals of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, others such as Polgoon in Cornwall use the lesser known Seyval Blanc. Many restaurants and bars now include an English fizz on their list and make a great pairing for seafood!
Cava is made in the Champagne method but is produced in Northern Spain. Historically referred to as Spanish Champagne, this is no longer permitted under EU Law, however the locals still refer to their famous fizz as champaña. Native Spanish varietals Macabeu, Parellada and Xarello are the key grapes used for Cava production and it offers a slightly fuller style of sparkling than Prosecco so if customers are looking for that Champagne experience without the price tag, why not try El Miracle Cava Brut?
Italian Sparkling Rosé
Did you know that there is no such thing as Rosé Prosecco? The Consortiums governing the region state that Prosecco is a white sparkling wine produced from 100% Glera (grape variety). In order to achieve a pink glass of bubbles, the Glera would need to be blended with a red grape variety and therefore, it cannot be referred to as Rosé Prosecco. That being said, you do still get some fabulous Italian Rosé bubbles, they just have to call them Rosato Spumante or Brut Rosato. Look out for the super-cute mini pink that is Villa Sandi Il Fresco Rosato, a natural extension to the Prosecco mini bottle craze.
Even though the British love their tradition, we’re actually quite a dynamic bunch and seen as a market open to new ideas and innovation. Moët & Chandon have recently launched their Ice Imperial Champagne, created to be served over ice in a large wine glass, with a fruity garnish! Produced in a slightly sweeter style than your traditional Brut NV Champagnes and aimed at capturing some of the Prosecco market who want easy-drinking, light-hearted drinking.