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Save your teeth – and six other reasons to give up prosecco

Britons, famously, love prosecco: we drank 40 million litres of it last year, which was Boris Johnson’s rather circuitous rationale for why it would all be fine, fine, fine after we left the EU. This is all definitively explained, first by its low price, and second by Nigella Lawson’s keen observation that it had such an uptick on her mood that she called it prozacco.

Yet it exacts a price later, when the carbonation, alcohol and sugar – dentistry’s axis of evil – destroy your teeth, variously stripping their enamel, making holes in them and pulling them out of your gums. Dr Mervyn Druian, of the London Centre for Cosmetic Dentistry, warned that women, especially, were putting themselves at risk of a “prosecco smile”, taking the opportunity presented by oral health to underline to the uppity drunk ladies that when you’re not pretty, nobody loves you and then you die, like in a Melanie Martinez song. If I were a young woman, this would only encourage me; but being the bearer of an ex-smoker and Fanta-drinker’s smile, I care about teeth, and proffer six other good reasons to stop drinking it.

1. River Island have a prosecco slogan T-shirt – “I’ll be there in a prosecco” – and they’re not the only ones. Suffice to say that the kind of people who advertise their drink on a T-shirt are the kind you shouldn’t be drinking the same drink as.

2. Even at a tenner a bottle, it is plainly cheaper than champagne, yet the price can go as low as £3.33 a bottle, with no discernible impact on its taste. I’m not a stickler, but this isn’t a wine, this is an alcohol delivery system. That lowest price, by the way, was recorded at Lidl, when they were offering six bottles for 20 quid, generating queues outside the Bristol store that gathered at 6.50am. Two words: Roman Empire. No, wait, three more words: Decline of the.

3. In the olden days, if you wanted to get drunk on bubbles but couldn’t afford champagne, you would drink beer. The more or less wholesale replacement of “fizz” with a “cheaper thing that is also fizzy” has a kind of resigned permanence, as though we’re reconciled to being a nation with less to celebrate and less money to do it with.

4. Prosecco has that inexplicable, unmarketable status as the drink you drink when it would be inappropriate to drink a proper drink, a bit like Pimm’s without the vitamins. You can drink it on a playdate, or at 11am, or anytime you are on a boat, whatever time it is, whatever the destination. But – Newsflash – after a bottle, you are just as pissed as you would have been after a bottle of anything else, which makes you feel weak and unjustly used, like you’ve been mugged by a child.

5. Prosecco hangovers have a particular quality, like having your eyeballs removed and replaced by pear drops. I do not like that.

6. I saw a stag party walking past the pub last night, carrying a pick’n’mix of booze, including prosecco. It caught my eye because, usually, binge drinkers never touch it. This is because of the prosecco-blackout, which is like going to the pub and spiking yourself.

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Hope this helps. Stay toothsome, ladies.


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