Italy's Asti Spumante sparkling wine is on course to outsell French Champagne as revellers around the world toast in the New Year, a study for an agricultural trade magazine predicted Tuesday.

Some 140 million bottles of the festive fizz from Italy's northern Piedmont region are to be corked open worldwide over Christmas and New Year, according to a Deloitte study conducted for Coldiretti magazine.

Asti sales are expected to edge ahead of Champagne, with sales of the prestigious - but more more expensive - Gallic tipple already down 41 percent for the first half of 2009, the report says.

The bubbly gets the patriotic vote, the study showed, with three-quarters of Italians planning to celebrate Christmas with traditional "Made in Italy" produce such as Asti sparkling wine or sugar-dusted panettone or pandoro cakes.

Italians were more attached to home-grown tradition than their neighbours in Europe, where an average of 59 percent plan to buy national foodstuffs for Christmas.

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