Prosecco on tap? How terribly gauche (and illegal), the Italians say

 
Catherine Neilan
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Prosecco: Italy wants it back in the bottle (Source: Getty)
Prosecco on tap. Sounds great to us, but according to the producers of Italy's answer to Champagne it's not only gauche, it's also illegal.
The Prosecco DOC Consortium doesn't pop its cork for every drinking establishment it sees - British pubs specifically, where the drink is available on tap.
The situation has got so bad even Italian politicians are getting involved. Michaele Anzaldi, an MP from the country's Democratic Party, is leading the battle cry to have the drink put back in the bottle.
“The government will act immediately, in conjunction with the EU, against the United Kingdom and the incorrect serving of Prosecco in British pubs,” he said.
“We will find out if sanctions have already have been applied and if not how best we can discourage further violations that are damaging a valuable sector of our economy.”
“It’s one thing to drink Prosecco, a protected brand, but quite another to drink pseudo-wine pumped with carbon dioxide, as seems to be served in some British pubs.”
Since 2009 Prosecco has been afforded the same rights as Champagne, meaning that the name can only be used to describe wine produced in the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene region it is produced, rather than the grape it comes from.
“And this means it can only be sold in the bottle,” Luca Giavi, the director of the Prosecco DOC Consortium, told The Telegraph. “We’re not moaning or trying to criticise anyone. It’s all about helping the customer.”
There is even the suggestion that those who don't comply with the rules be fined. Consortium president Stefano Zanettin has reportedly told La Repubblica: “The fines range from €2,000 (£1,500) to €20,000 and are a valid instrument to dissuade this activity,” although he said “educating customers” would be preferable.
Britain is currently the biggest importer of Prosecco, after a 40 per cent increase last year.

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