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Which bubbly are you buying this Christmas?

Research out this week suggests that Brits prefer prosecco to classic Champagne, with 59% of 1,000 people surveyed saying they prefer the Italian fizz. So what about you?

Admittedly, the survey was run by Mionetto, a prosecco producer, but the growing popularity of the sparkling wine is hard to ignore.

In fact, our survey earlier this year found that the same amount of people would buy a bottle of Champagne to drink at Christmas as a bottle of Prosecco. Both attracted a third of 1,133 Which? members in our survey.

But is prosecco more likely to be something you’d drink at home with friends, and not quite special enough to toast with at Christmas or New Year’s?

Prosecco popularity

Prosecco sales rocketed in the UK this year, beating Champagne to pole position as the fizz of choice for the first time.

Brits enjoyed almost four bottles of prosecco for every bottle of Champagne – 37.3m litres of the famous Italian sparkling wine were sold compared to 9.8m litres of Champagne.

And news of a prosecco shortage this summer had my friends joking about sweeping supermarket shelves clean of the stuff ‘in case of emergency’.

I took part in the annual bubbly taste test at Which? HQ this year, and while Champagne seemed to be the preferred choice for our wine experts, they were impressed with the quality of prosecco we tested.

So what’s the secret to its success?

Well prosecco is often seen as a simpler option – it is fermented in a tank rather than in the bottle, as is the case with Champagne. Prosecco also tends to be sweeter, as Italian vineyards are warmer, while those who like something dry and more acidic are more likely to be tempted by a French wine.

But the overriding aspect to its growing status seems to be price. Our survey found that around 80% of people would be prepared to pay up to £30 for a bottle of Champagne, but a similar proportion would only pay £10 for prosecco.

So what will you be buying for your Christmas table this year?

Which bubbly do you prefer?

Champagne (41%, 36 Votes)

Neither (32%, 28 Votes)

Prosecco (27%, 24 Votes)

Total Voters: 88

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Oh, dear. Oh, dear. Oh, dear.
It’s not possible to comment on the analysis of the data, since it’s not posted, but the methodology and the writing up leaves much to be desired.
[I have supervized and marked a range of under, and post, graduate research papers over the years.
I therefore ‘speak ‘ with some authority.]

Very festive poll.

Breaking news: a Which? commentator has stumbled upon one of the key principles of microeconomics!

I put it down to the after effects.

Champagne is, and has been, a marketing success not necessarily because of its taste, but because it is expensive. That does not mean that it is all necessarily overpriced, as the labour involved is more than in barrel fermentation. It shows ostentation, that you are not stingy in treating your guests at special events, it demonstrates your generosity as a host. Which is why the producers trade on this, and why there is so much rubbish champagne about sold to people who cannot discriminate the good from the bad.

A Prosecco survey done by a Prosecco producer? Prosecco has been heavily marketed, and consequently contains much rubbish by those who jump on the bandwagon. I’d prefer to buy wines vetted by real experts, not because of a marketing exercise.

So why test and promote just Prosecco when there are other, probably better, sparkling wines out there?

I like sparkling wine. Those who belong to the Wine Society ( maybe this will become the W**e S*****y 🙂 ) will find a not-for-profit cooperative that, generally successfully, weeds out the good from the bad. It lists champagnes from £85 to £23 a bottle, including from lesser known, or unknown, growers. But they also list straightforward sparkling wines from a range of regions and countries – including England at much less cost. And Cava, Loire, Languedoc, Lambrusco, Alsace, Australia, Chile……. as well as two Proseccos

I am not a great fan of Prosecco. I like some Champagnes but not ice-cold. I think the popularity of Prosecco has a lot to do with pub pricing. Although still expensive, it is never so dear as Champagne by the glass even if they will serve a single glass. I think Champagne works well when the company is already jollied-up a bit so is excellent for celebrations and festivities; Prosecco is less successful on those occasions and I agree with Malcolm – there are plenty of other good sparkling wines at better prices. And, before we all get carried away with drinks snobbery, let’s not forget that there’s always Lambrini . . . which in my view is not as nice as Babycham.

”Brits enjoyed almost four bottles of prosecco for every bottle of Champagne – 37.3m litres of the famous Italian sparkling wine were sold compared to 9.8m litres of Champagne.
enjoyed implies that they DID ”enjoy’ it, as against
Drank it
Took it to a party
Served it to unexpecting guests
Passed it off as ….
Picked up the wrong bottle
If this is a piece of Research then let the terms used be precise
If this is an Opinion piece, then let that be known
PLEASE do not mix the two.

Well, JosephKafka, you’re not wrong, but nothing is perfect, not even Which?Convo.

As for me, I have said before that a good prosecco is preferrable to a bad champagne, isn’t it? I can’t always afford champagne, or it isn’t always available, so this year I have:

drunk prosecco and enjoyed it
taken it to a party and enjoyed it
served it to unexpected guests and enjoyed it
not passed it off as something else because I don’t have that kind of “friend”, and enjoyed it
picked up the wrong bottle (I thought it was cheap…) and enjoyed it

Merry Christmas, everybody!