Ben Gabbe

Prosecco producers warned that there may be a global shortage of the beloved bubbly Italian spirit, which sparked shock and fear among the drink's devotees.

"There is a very real possibility of a global shortage," Roberto Cremonese, export manager of Bisol, told the drinks business, during the London Wine Fair this week.

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Cremonese fueled worries of the shortage, telling the trade publication that last year's harvest was "very poor" and down by 50 percent in some areas.

Rain and flooding left the vineyards and wines very wet, resulting in rotten grapes and lower yields, according to Josh Genderson, president, Schneider's of Capitol Hill, an importer and retailer.

"Prosecco is loved my the masses due to the high quality fruit at reasonable price levels. Prosecco takes on fruity characteristics that are pleasing to the common palette," said Genderson.

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The mass appeal was evident on Twitter, where people didn't take kindly to the news, spawning the hashtag #proseccoshortage.

https://twitter.com/SassyMusacchio_/status/601738200802009088

But panic may not be in order just yet.

"There really aren't shortages, prices will just go up," said David White, founder and editor of the popular wine blog, Terroirist.com.

White said that consumers should expect to pay more anyway, because demand has been on the rise.

Sales of Prosecco overtook Champagne for the first time in 2013, fueled in part by the recession and desire for less-expensive drink options (and in part by American's love of brunch).

White said that higher prices may actually be a good thing, pointing to alternatives like Spanish Cava and French sparkling wine, aside from Champagne.

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"It's not the end of the world in the that there are many alternatives to Prosecco, and I would argue that most alternatives would result in happier drinkers," he said.

Geneva Sands is a Washington, D.C.-based producer/editor focused on national affairs and politics. Egg creams, Raleigh and pie are three of her favorite things.