Thousands of bottles of counterfeit prosecco have been seized in Coventry.

The Food Standards Agency obtained a shipment of bottles of sparkling wine that had been incorrectly labelled as Prosecco.

The bottles appeared to have originated from Moldova. They had been classified as though it had been sourced from Italy. The Italian region around Venice and Trieste is the only area able to use the term Prosecco.

In an interview with The Independent, Mark Dawson of the FSA wine inspection team, said: “Food crime around wine is similar to that in other areas, in that food criminals target products which will be easy to sell,”

“Consumer demand for prosecco has increased and we do find products falsely claiming to be prosecco, most probably in order to capitalise on this demand.”

The Italian government and the country’s prosecco producer consortium are trying to clamp down on illegal trade – both within Italy and further afield.

A report from the Central Inspectorate of Quality Protection and Fraud Repression (ICQRF) earlier this year found that there had been 749 cases of fraud involving prosecco between June 2014 and the end of 2017.

eBay, Amazon and Alibaba featured among the online sources.

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