If life’s too short to drink bad wine, it’s also ‘too short to drink boring wine’, according to Virgin Wines.
One of the few solely online wine retailers in the UK, Virgin holds wine fairs throughout the year to interact with their customers.
Virgin also has wine party planners running tastings in their homes, called Virgin Fabulous: a bit like Ann Summers parties (or Tupperware in the old days).
Virgin is owned by Direct Wines which is well known under the Laithwaites name. Pre-selected cases are Virgin’s USP. However, customers can make up their own cases too.
Virgin promotes wines by style, for example Huge Reds and Fragrant but Dry. This way of categorising wine has caught on recently with some supermarkets labelling and merchandising in a similar way.
Recommendations from Virgin’s recent press tasting in London include:
HdR Grenache Blanc / Vermentino, Languedoc, France, £8.99. The Languedoc region is becoming a fantastic source of interesting, well made and great value white wines. Vermentino aka Rolle is better known from Italy but grows well in the south of France heat. Light, floral and snappy, this is a very easy to like everyday white. Voted a Gold favourite by Virgin’s customers.
Mitico Old Vine Garnacha, Campo de Borja, Spain, £8.99 (£7.49 in the Autumn/Winter Discovery Club Selection case). Red Garnacha aka Grenache has a hard core following among winemakers and hedonistic wine geeks. Soft structure, ‘sweet’ ripe fruit with a savoury edge are its characteristics. Spain is a great source of good value varietal Garnacha, as here. Very versatile, it is perfect for kitchen table suppers of simple pastas and risottos.
Festive First Class Discovery Club Selection, £99.99 case, (£8.33 bottle equivalent). Mixed cases are very useful when quantity and variety is needed. There are some interesting, well respected producers in here such as Famille Perrin from France and De Martino from Chile.