Next time you pick up a glass of bubbly, odds are you won't be drinking champagne. Instead, you might be toasting with Italian sparkling wine.
That's because Italian sparkling wines - whether prosecco or spumante - are doing excendingly well in markets across the world, even in France, home to its competitor champagne.
Italian sparkling wine exports to France doubled to 91% in 2012, according to Coldiretti, the Association of Italian Farmers. Citing data collected in the first nine months of 2012, the association also reported a 33% increase in exports to the United Kingdom, ranking it third after the United States and Germany as the biggest consumers of Italian sparkling wine.
Canada and Japan also saw a boom in Italian sparkling wine consumption. Exports to those countries increased by 35% and 31%, respectively. All in all, Italy exported about 240 million wine bottles in 2012, according to Wine News.
But why are so many people turning to prosecco rather than champagne?
The BBC explains that customers perceive Italian sparkling wine as having added value and frequently use it as an alternative to red or white wine during dinner. Prosecco and spumante are also lower in price than champagne, making it accesible to more people.
That's all good news for Italy where drinking sparkling wine isn't reserved only for special ocassions. Bottoms up! Or, as the Italians say: cin cin!