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Now there’s a Prosecco policeman to ensure high quality sparkling wine

prosecco1It has to be a pretty good job, spending one’s time in bars and restaurants sampling sparkling wines to make sure that any sold as prosecco is indeed up to standard. He’s called a “special monitoring agent,” based in Treviso near Venice, and will check that prosecco comes from the bottle, without customers being palmed off with cheaper stuff served from taps or carafes. He has powers to levy stiff fines on any caught cheating.

Prosecco took off in a big way about three years ago in the UK. Before that time most people’s alternative to champagne was either cava or sparkling Loire, and prosecco was found somewhat light and slightly sweet by comparison. Then prosecco put its act together and started targeting the UK market with a range of high quality products suited to UK tastes. First restaurants started offering them, and then wine bars. I probably see more prosecco than cava these days.

I note with some amusement that the Italians are using EU laws to advantage. A few years back they had to rename their Tocai wine because of possible confusion with the more famous Hungarian Tokaji. Now they are insisting that as Croatia joins the EU its prosek wine must be renamed, even though it’s a yellow, sweet dessert wine rather than a sparkler. The name might confuse the uninitiated.

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