Prosecco is one of the most popular drinks, but experts warned that the demand for this high quality Italian sparkling wine has meant an increase in counterfeits products.

So what is so special about Prosecco?

Prosecco is a controlled designation of origin in North east Italy, where sparkling wine, or semi-sparkling, is principally made from the Glera grape variety. Two quality assurance labels help protect the Prosecco region outside of Italy — DOC – Denominazione di Origine Controllata (controlled designation of origin) and DOCG – Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (controlled designation of origin guaranteed).

Despite these labels, the Food Standards Agengy says they are seeing an increase in the number of knock-offs coming out of Eastern Europe. They’re being passed off as the real deal, but out of the 4,000 samples sent to laboratories for testing every year, around 1,000 are counterfeit.
Vineyards on the hills of Valdobbiadene, production zone of sparkling prosecco wine.

According to FSA wine inspector, Mark Dawson, a recent shipment of thousands of bottles of Prosecco to the U.K. turned out to be wine from Moldova.

Prosecco has been having a moment lately. Sales have soared over the past decade and are expected to increase by 36% in the next five years, according to Forbes. Because of this, Prosecco has been a recent target for fraud.

“Products that are known to the consumer are targeted, like Prosecco,” FSA wine inspector Mark Dawson told The Express. “Fraudsters are always looking to cash in on current trends.”

To track down frauds, offices examine the foil and cage on each bottle, but finding the real deal can still be tricky.  Good Housekeeping recommends always buying from a trustworthy merchant, looking for the DOC and DOCG reference, and comparing the label on your bottle to one online from a bonafide Prosecco dealer.

(h/t Good Housekeeping)

ALSO TRY: Studies says couples who drink together are happier. 

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Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.