Has the Prosecco bubble burst?

For the first time since this incredibly successful star of the cheap and cheerful wine market arrived on the scene ten years ago, Prosecco sales have fallen.

Very few popular wines have shown such remarkable sales growth, 6,000 per cent in the first two decades, mainly thanks to its popularity in the American, British and German markets.

By 2013 Prosecco sales had surpassed those of champagne, but this did not worry the great producers of Rheims, nor the smaller ones either.

Champagne does not have, they say, any real competitors, and the bubbly market is big enough to accommodate all-comers.

The dip in sales has been attributed to currency fluctuations, and there are those who blame a widely-circulated press report last year blaming Prosecco for damaging teeth.

A very normal wine made with the Glera grape, Prosecco put the village of the same name, together with the grape, on the world map.

It is not the first time Italians have flooded the market with cheap fizz, and we still remember Asti Spumante for a variety of reasons, mainly for its cloying sweetness.

Of course the question that has been on the lips of everyone in the trade for all these years has been, why Prosecco and not Spanish Cava?

Is this another example of Italian marketing skills that have consistently outsold Spanish olive oil and wine in the massive US market?

According to UK consultants IWSR, "Prosecco is associated in people's minds with happiness and fun, while Cava is thought of, particularly by the millenials, as dull and unexciting."

It's all a question of image, and Italy tends to shine exceptionally when pitted against Spain in these markets.