Prosecco beat champagne in 2013.
The production of the popular Italian bubbly wine has increased to 330 million bottles, compared to the 300 million put out by Champagne producers.
Gianluca Bisol, a Prosecco producer, said the trend is expected to keep growing. He also pointed out there is an increasing request from the Asian markets, particularly China: “Italian bubbly in general sold twice as much as Champagne in China during the first six months of the year," he said.
Prosecco is produced in the regions of Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia, traditionally mainly around Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, in the hills north of Treviso.
Prosecco is a dry sparkling wine, and is cheaper than Champagne or Italian rivals like Franciacorta because it has a less expensive production process. The lower price may account for its growing popularity during this time of economic crisis.
Prosecco is usually served unmixed as an aperitif, but it also appears in mixed drinks, the most famous being the Bellini and the Spritz; it can also replace Champagne in other cocktails such as the Mimosa. With vodka and lemon sorbet, Prosecco is also an ingredient of the Italian mixed drink Sgroppino.