Don't panic: Here's how to cope with the rumoured Prosecco shortage

May 22, 2015 at 7:32 a.m. ET

If you haven't already heard the news — brace yourselves. Our favourite fizz is running dry and we shouldn't be surprised. We've been guzzling Prosecco so much that there's a real chance of a global shortage.

Sales of Prosecco — Champagne's younger, cheaper, Italian half-sister — rose by 55 percent in the U.K. last year. We spent £1 billion on the bubbly stuff, more than Champagne for the first time ever. But it looks like the celebrations could be over. At London Wine Week, Bisol export manager Roberto Cremonese told The Drinks Business: "Last year's harvest was very poor, and down by up to 50 per cent in some parts, so there is a very real possibility of a global shortage. We'll find out how big the problem is in August when the brokers release their stock. At the moment we don't know how much Prosecco they're holding on to.”

According to, the poor 2014 harvest caused by wet weather is not the only reason we might not be quaffing Prosecco to our heart's content this summer. Supermarkets have been fuelling demand by driving down prices, putting further pressure on the supply chain.

"When sales are going up in strong double digit figures, it puts a lot of pressure on supply," said Stefano Girelli of The Wine People. "Promotions are not going to help and too many promotions are not good for long-term brand building. Promotions should be softer and they should be trying to keep the price steady."

More: Try this Italian Cocchi and Prosecco recipe

If this news is enough to drive you to drink, here's how to cope with the possibility of a Prosecco-free summer:

  • Bulk buy! There's still plenty of Prosecco on the supermarket shelves. Fill your trolley with your head held high (who cares what people think as your bottles clank together on your way to the checkout?) It's alright to blow your monthly grocery budget on fizz, right?
  • Consider other options. Prosecco is not the only way to get your fix of bubbles. Good alternatives at a similar price are Spanish Cava, French Crémant (from the d’Alsace and de Limoux regions) and Italian Trento DOC and Franciacorta DOCG. The U.K., Australia and New Zealand also produce sparkling wines that are well worth a taste test.
  • Don't rule out Champagne as being over your budget: Asda, Aldi and Marks & Spencer are just a few of the big stores who have regular promotions on Champers around the £10 mark.

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