Monday 13 April 2015 5:16 am

Prosecco vs champagne: Brits now spend more on Italian sparkling wine than French bubbly

For the first time ever, Britain's wine drinkers are spending more on prosecco than they are on champagne.

Historically seen as a second best to champagne, the rise and rise of the Italian sparkling wine has seen it overtake its French counterpart with sales of £181.8m in 2014 compared to £141.3m bottles of champers.

The latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel reveal sales of prosecco doubled last year to 28m bottles – more than sales of cava and champagne combined (we only quaffed 17.3m bottles of those in total). Prosecco sales have shot up – five years ago, we were drinking just 2.3m bottles.

The popularity of prosecco over champagne has been put down to its sweeter taste and its cheaper price – and the nation became the biggest importer of the sparkling wine last year.

The average cost of a bottle of prosecco comes in at £6.49, compared with £16.23 for champagne – more than 60 per cent cheaper.

British pubs have begun serving prosecco on tap, which is good for drinkers looking to save the pennies, but has drawn ire from the Italians who say the practice is illegal.

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