It’ll probably come as no surprise that Prosecco has, in recent years, become the UK’s go-to tipple. We like it so much that in 2017, 35.8 million gallons of the stuff was sold in the UK. We even have a national day dedicated to the famous fizz. But does drinking that much of one drink cause a problem? One recent study suggests that it does. Should we all be consuming less of it, and what are the best sparkling wine alternatives?
Grown in the Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions of north-east Italy, Prosecco is made from Glera grapes. And with an astronomical rise in its consumption over the past five years, it goes without saying that production has drastically increased. The area covered by Prosecco-producing vineyards has risen from roughly 4,000 hectares 20 years ago to around 7,000 hectares today with pasture and woodland dug up to plant these profitable vines.
Not to mention the destruction of local ecosystems as a result, so many of us drink the Italian D.O.C sparkling wine that it’s lead to an overwhelming strain on the region’s soil. The report, carried out by researchers at the University of Padua, says that the equivalent of 400,000 tonnes of soil is lost every year due to Prosecco production. It’s not sustainable. And soil loss isn’t just a problem because of, well, the loss of soil, but also because it strips away nutrients, causes sedimentation, spreads pesticides and (literally) muddies the water that it gets washed into.
So should we stop drinking Prosecco altogether? Not necessarily. But diversifying what we drink is key to elevating some of the strain that our consumption puts on the environment and local economies. There are plenty of sparkling wine alternatives that we can choose from, so don’t worry, no one’s going without a glass of fizz.
3 English sparkling wines to drink instead of Prosecco:
Hindleap Blanc de Blancs
A deliciously crisp example of an English sparkling wine, this fruity number is a real mouthful. Hindleap Blanc de Blancs is all green apple, kiwi fruit and greengage plums for a super vibrant taste that’s almost creamy on the tongue. All of Bluebell Vineyard wines are vintage, made in Sussex and bursting with flavour. Highly recommend.
Albury Classic Cuvée
For something more traditional, the Albury Classic Cuvée has got the citrussy notes of Prosecco but is organically produced in the Surrey Hills with biodynamic grapes from the 2014 vintage. We hear it’s the next drink of choice for your brunch party.
Elderflower Pure Sparkling Wine
This Elderflower Sparkling Wine by Renegade & Longton is – you guessed it – made exclusively from elderflower rather than grapes. Light and aromatic on the palate, less acidic than Prosecco, and perfect with hard cheese.
Soil erosion is becoming a serious problem in the UK too. Read more on the pioneering livestock and dairy farmers regenerating the stuff under our feet.
Want beautiful English wines delivered direct to your door? Check out the range on farmdrop.com.