Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Thursday, December 10 2020

What's All the Fizz About

By: Treve Ring & Anthony Gismondi
Our 2020 guide to International Sparkling Wines

Well, if there were ever a year to drink bubbles, 2020 would be it.

We certainly popped a lot of corks and crown caps at GOW this year. So much so, we've had to divide our sparkling annual into three sections because the list was so long our website couldn't handle it. See below for the International Sparkling Report and visit here for the BC Sparkling list, and here for Ontario & Nova Scotia sparkling reviews.

And though this year most definitely hasn't been one for celebration, it seems that folks may be distancing with wine judging by current figures released by Statista.com for Canada : 

  • Sparkling Wine Revenue is projected to reach US$704m in 2020. The market is expected to grow annually by 10.0% (CAGR, 2020-2025).
  • In global comparison, most revenue will be generated in Italy (US$6,852m in 2020). Canada ranks 37th in the world in terms of per capita consumption of sparkling wine.
  • Concerning total population figures, per person revenues of US$18.65 will be generated in 2020.
  • The average per capita consumption will stand at 0.7 L in 2020.

According to data released in the Wine Intelligence Report Sparkling Wine in the Canadian Market 2020, the consumption trend is headed upwards. There has been an increase in daily drinking, and in particular, we're drinking less expensive options. This has meant a boost for Prosecco and domestic wine. Canadian fizz drinkers reportedly anticipate consuming more sparkling wine post-pandemic, specifically Canadian sparkling wine.

The report suggests that a growing proportion of Canadian consumers would consider drinking sparkling wine for informal occasions at home, departing from the outdated notion that sparkling wine is a special occasion wine. Larger scale celebrations and events are not in the near future for Canadians, many of whom report they will be focused more on social events in the home in the next year, potentially adding momentum to the everyday sparkling trend (the one we've been practicing faithfully for the last decade+). 

Historically, the Canadian sparkling wine market has been dominated by imports, and this continues to be the case, led by Prosecco. However, in a market where just 18% of the share of sparkling wine is Canadian in origin, our national fizz industry's growth remains strong and important. In line with evidence seen across many sparkling wine markets globally, there was a reduction in sparkling wine purchases during the spring lockdown of March to June 2020, particularly for imports. Most notably, Champagne (read our Champagne Annual 2020 here). 

All told, the GOW team tasted 112 reviews of Canadian sparkling wine in 2020 (see BC here, and ON / NS here). Add to that another 69 reviews on International Sparkling Wine, including wines from France, Italy, Portugal, New Zealand, California, Argentina, Chile, Hungary, Germany, South Africa, Austria, and England. Last, but certainly not least, we tasted three dozen wines for the 2021 Champagne Annual. Of course, many of these wines have multiple reviews from our critics, adding up to literally millions of bubbles. 

All International Sparkling Wines (beyond Champagne) Tasted In 2020

Written By:
Treve Ring & Anthony Gismondi
Treve Ring & Anthony Gismondi

Every week Treve Ring and Anthony Gismondi collaborate on our Top Ten list, released on Thursday morning, often with a timely theme. If you count carefully the list will more than likely exceed ten names but only because we believe if any wine is tied by a score that makes our list it should be included. We know many of you are wine savvy and can do your own sleuthing to locate our weekly picks but for those who asked: BCLS means it is sold in government retail stores; when we say private wine shops we mean it could be in any private wine shop or liquor retail store (LRS); winery direct means check with the winery online. If it’s not sold in BC we usually try and give you a suggested retail price. Prices change hourly in BC – the price we post is what we are given at publication.