Italy appoints a ‘prosecco policeman’ to protect reputation of its famous fizzy wine
Andrea Battistella, 27, who has a degree in viniculture and oenology, will make surprise visits to establishments throughout the Veneto region, from where prosecco originates.
He will check that the fizzy wine that is being sold is genuinely prosecco, rather than some imitation, and that it is poured directly from the bottle rather than pumped out of taps or served in carafes.
Bars and enotecas found to be ripping off their customers will be liable to fines ranging from €2,000 to a hefty €20,000 (£17,400).
The initiative has been pushed by a consortium of prosecco producers.
“Above all it is a measure to protect the consumer,” said Stefano Zanette, president of the consortium. “Customers have the right to expect that they get what they pay for.”
Prosecco sales grow as fizz goes out of champagne market
Italy’s best-kept secret – prosecco – is emerging as the clear winner over the festive season in the UK.
According to Tesco’s wine category manager, Alain Guilpain: “What makes the rising demand for prosecco even more startling is that until about five years ago it was generally only known by connoisseurs. But it has grown by word of mouth and has become our fastest-growing fizz this year, not only riding the credit crunch storm but emerging as a true winner because of its great quality and keen price point.”
Prosecco takes its name from the glera or prosecco white grape variety, which is grown mainly in the Conegliano and Valdobbiadene wine-growing regions of north-east Italy. It is a fresh and lively wine with crisp, fruit-driven character, often compared to apples and dessert pears with a clean, refreshing finish.