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Top ten trends of the last ten years: 4. Sparkling wine

In our seventh installment of the greatest changes in drinks since db was launched in July 2002, we consider the rise of sparkling wine.

Alongside rosé, the most prominent stylistic development in drinks over the last decade has been the ascendancy of sparkling wine.

The most obvious example of this has come from Italy with Prosecco.

By 2010, it had bypassed sales volumes of Champagne in many major wine-consuming markets such as the UK and US.

In fact, at the end of the last decade, figures from the Italian winemakers’ association, Assoenologi, showed global sales of Italian sparkling wines had reached 380 million bottles (including Asti Spumante and sparkling Moscato).

By comparison, global Champagne shipments in the same year were just under 320 million. And in the US alone, Italian sparkling wines saw a 73% growth in the five years from 2005 – attributed almost entirely to Prosecco.

Meanwhile, Spain’s Cava producers reported rising sales over the same period, citing the recessionary pressures faced by European drinkers as one influential factor.

Beyond Europe, the last ten years have seen growth in the production and sales for New World sparkling wine, as major still wine brands such as Jacob’s Creek added sparkling examples to their range.

This trend has been strengthened by further fizzy brand extensions using popular grapes. A new category of sparkling Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand has emerged, spearheaded by Brancott Estate, formerly Montana.

Much larger though is the sparkling Moscato sector, which has enticed an entirely new US consumer to the category and made trendy this once unfashionable off-dry wine style from Italy, as well as encouraging almost every major wine-producing country to plant Moscato.

Finally, sparkling wine’s popularity has even managed to boost the English wine industry, as traditional method sparkling wines from across the UK gain greater recognition from wine commentators.

As a result, even the Champenois have been studying England’s terroir.

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