The incoming summer season has taken a dark, Satanic turn due to reports of a worldwide shortage of Prosecco.
Prosecco is perhaps best described as an Italian, slightly-bubblier version of Champagne, and it has become wildly popular in the US and UK over the past few years.
Roberto Cremonese, an export manager for Italian Prosecco-maker Bisol, revealed some bad news during this week's London Wine Fair.
He told The Drinks Business,
Last year's harvest was very poor, and down by up to 50 [percent] in some parts, so there is a very real possibility of a global shortage. We'll find out how big the problem is in August when the brokers release their stock. At the moment we don't know how much Prosecco they're holding on to.
He suggested French wine merchants are taking advantage of the massive demand for Prosecco by raising prices by up to 50 percent.
The négociants hold the power at the moment as they bought all of the stock. It might turn out that some of them have no fizz left but we'll have to wait and see.
Italian grape growers, Cremonese added, are raising prices as well and thus refusing to let go of their supplies as easily.
Cremonese suggested high prices don't belong on a drink as "uncomplicated" as Prosecco because unlike other alcoholic beverages, it is valued primarily because of its great taste.
Prosecco is like driving around London in a Mini not a Ferrari – you don't need a reason to pop a cork.
Accepting Prosecco's transformation into somewhat of an upscale treat, however, may be the only way to avoid a potential cataclysm.