A consortium of prosecco manufacturers has reportedly contacted the United Kingdom’s Food Standards Agency and Intellectual Property Office to threaten legal action under EU trading regulations against British wine bars and pubs that refuse to stop serving the sparkling wine from a keg. Prosecco sales apparently surpassed those of its rival, champagne, for the first time in 2014, and in the same year the United Kingdom replaced Germany as the top export market for prosecco.
“If prosecco is sold on tap then it is no longer prosecco—it needs to be served directly from the bottle,” Luca Giavi, director of the consortium, told The Telegraph. The winemakers cite a 2009 European law which states that “prosecco wine shall be marketed exclusively in traditional glass bottles,” and the president of the consortium, Stefano Zanettin, asserted that violations can merit fines ranging from €2,000 to €20,000. Michele Anzaldi, a member of the Italian Parliament’s agricultural commission, has pledged support for the consortium’s efforts. “The government will act immediately, in conjunction with the EU, against the United Kingdom and the incorrect serving of prosecco in British pubs,” he was quoted as saying. “We will find out if sanctions have already been applied and if not how best we can discourage further violations that are damaging a valuable sector of our economy.” See The Telegraph and The Independent, January 7, 2015.