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Italians in a tizz over canned fizz

Paris Hilton was caught up in a row in Italy last week as she promoted Rich Prosecco, a canned version of the country’s traditional sparkling white wine. The celebrity socialite was due to arrive in the Veneto’s Conegliano Valdobbiadene, where Prosecco DOC is made, for a glitzy promotion timed to coincide with the grape harvest. However, Italian winemakers objected to the fizz in a can because they believe it debases their product. Under Italian law, wine can be sold only in bottles, so they don’t think it’s acceptable that Rich is being sold to other countries just to get around the clause. Now the trade organisation, the Consorzio Tutela Prosecco, is studying the legality of the product in a bid to avoid the image of the Conegliano hills being associated with Rich. Consorzio director Giancarlo Vettorello told ThirtyFifty that, ‘We are also starting an international campaign to promote our wine and to explain to consumers that the “original” prosecco is only the Conegliano Valdobbiadene sparkling wine that is produced with precise rules that assure the quality of the product.’ Even if Rich isn’t to the Italians’ taste, Paris has certainly proved that she’s an advocate for alcohol generally by also getting stopped for drink-driving last month.