Dave’s Wine of the Week – Tierra del Corazon Bio Bio Malbec Reserva

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It’s World Malbec Day today so I’ve selected a new wine I bought a little while ago – Tierra del Corazon Bio Bio Malbec Reserva 2013 – which has recently landed in our Distribution Centre.

It doesn’t hail from Argentina or France but instead it’s a product of the Bio Bio Valley in Chile. An area of Chile I personally think has a very bright future ahead of it. Situated some 300 miles south of Santiago, it is a region making some truly great wines from vineyards, mainly planted with cool climate varietals – Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc being the focus.

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The Perfect Wine For Your Easter Lunch

Easter is just around the corner, so invite the family over and get that roast dinner cooking. Of course no Sunday lunch would be complete without the perfect bottle of wine to accompany it. We’ve picked out this delicious Rioja as the perfect wine to enjoy this Sunday, over the long weekend. Below our Wine Buyer Andrew Baker takes you though what to expect from the Vina Marro Vendimia Seleccionada Rioja 2012.

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Virtual Winemakers Toast Creation of their Wine

Last week we celebrated the arrival of the wine created by our hugely popular Virtual Winemaker project at an exclusive launch party, along with 50 of those who took part. The Coeur du Ventoux wine was made at the Famille Perrin winery in the Southern Rhone Valley after a series of democratic votes by those who took part, and unveiled at Baranis, a Provençal wine bar, in London.

Virtual Winemaker

The Virtual Winemakers were joined by our CEO Jay, and Marc Perrin from the winery, who flew in specially for the event. The Winemakers were able to taste their wine and learn more about its production process, whilst enjoying Provençal food and playing a game of pétanque on the UK’s only indoor court. This is the third time we have hosted the Virtual Winemaker project, with many of those taking part being involved the previous year, so there were a number of familiar faces celebrating the completion of the project.

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Heartbleed – It’s Big, It’s Bad, but We’re Not Affected

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If you’ve been listening to the news recently you may have heard of something called Heartbleed. In a nutshell Heartbleed is a vulnerability in some security software used by large portions of the internet which potentially allows an attacker to snoop on your username and password when you access affected sites. Given the size and scale of the issue what would usually be relegated to the tech and industry news is now making front page headlines with users being urged to reset all their passwords.

While the advice to reset your password isn’t harmful (it’s good practice to use unique passwords for each site you visit and to change those passwords regularly) it’s only required for those sites that were affected by Heartbleed. Virgin Wines does not use the version of the software that suffered from this vulnerability and your login credentials remain secure. You may still want to check with other sites you use, so our advice is to pour yourself a glass of wine, hop online and just do a quick audit of your online passwords.

Dom Davis – Head of IT

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Virgin Wines Raises a Glass to Malbec World Day

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Here at Virgin Wines, we will be raising a glass to Argentina’s famous grape as part of the celebrations for Malbec World Day (MWD) on 17th April.  We are flying the flag for Argentina by providing recommendations to wine enthusiasts about what makes Argentina’s signature grape so special.

Jay Wright, CEO, Virgin Wines comments: “Despite having French roots in Bordeaux, Malbec is now more famous in Mendoza, Argentina. We just love the deep, full bodied wines that the region produces and we know our customers are great fans too, regularly scoring it highly in reviews. We look forward to championing Malbec World Day and bringing this interesting grape to the attention of even more wine enthusiasts.”

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Matthew Jukes Talks About The Dragon Hills Pinot Noir

Matthew Jukes is here to review this Pinot Noir from Romania. A fruity, refreshing number. Pair this red with a little Indian or Thai cuisine and watch it sing. Don’t forget to follow Virgin Wines and Matthew Jukes on Twitter and let us know how you got on with this wine in the comments below.

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Virgin Wines Hit The Road: March Round-Up

It’s been a busy month for the Virgin Wines tasting tour as we took to the road to bring you a selection of our wines. We visited Manchester, Bath, York and Oxford and it was great to see so many of you tasting your way through a variety of wines on offer. Our friends at Cheshire Cheese joined us for the Manchester tasting to offer our customers a selection of tasty treats. We snapped a few photos of you enjoying the wines, and if you haven’t had a chance to attend one of our tastings yet, we still have well over 20 cities to visit this year, so click HERE to purchase tickets now.

Manchester 6

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Celebrating De Martino’s 80th Anniversary

3We’ve been working with our friends at De Martino for nearly a decade and, during this time, not only has our relationship with them grown from strength to strength but the depth and breadth of the range of wines that we’ve been able to bring to you has increased massively.

This year sees De Martino celebrate their 80th anniversary. As well as being very proud to celebrate how far they have come as a winery, they are also are keen to recognise how much they have managed to maintain their family winery status.

Since their inception, De Martino have spent many years exploring and developing their own identity in their wines.

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Dave’s Wine of the Week – Ridgeview Fitzrovia Rose 2010

This weekend, well this Sunday, is all about Mums. A day dedicated to the Mothers of the world. The tradition is to give presents and the perfect way to make this moment all that more momentous is to pop the cork on a bottle of something fizzy. For my Wine of the Week I’ve picked the ideal bottle to do just this!

Ridgeview Fitzrovia Rose

The bubbly in question is produced at England’s Ridgeview Estate, which was founded in 1994 by Mike and Chris Roberts with the aim to craft world class sparkling wines. All the wines are made using the traditional Champagne method and today I’m focusing on their wonderful rosé – Fitzrovia 2010.

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Champagne – Bollinger Photobook

I was lucky enough to be invited out to Champagne recently to visit Bollinger. I travelled to take part in a small ‘Vin Clair Tasting’. An annual event, this illustrious Champagne House has offered to some of the people who have supported them over recent months / years around the world. The whole idea is to help explain the process undertaken by the ‘chef du cave’ when looking to blend the new still wines, with aged wines, to recreate the house style. This is all done before their legendary second fermentation and long ageing in bottle in the cellars.

Rather than bore you with a load of tasting notes that could potentially be fairly meaningless, here’s a storyboard of pictures to give you a feel for the experience and an insight into the world of Champagne…

General Champagne vineyard shot from taken near my digs with a bit of clean-up work taking place.

General Champagne vineyard shot taken near my digs with a bit of clean-up work taking place.

Un-grafted pre-phylloxera walled vineyard.

Un-grafted pre-phylloxera walled vineyard.

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Treacle Tart with Clotted Cream Ice Cream

We recently partnered Rick Stein for his live show at the London Palladium, where a wine from our range was matched with each delicious dish prepared on the night. Over the coming weeks we are going to share the recipes with you along with the wine matches that were chosen. If you decide to try your hand at any of the recipes, don’t forget to share it with us on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

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Dave’s Wine Of The Week:- Sail Chardonnay 2013

Today I’m going to feature a white from Australia. Chardonnay was a grape that suffered a little bit of a backlash due to over-saturation and a dip in overall quality, however now it’s back with a vengeance and the quality of this wine is off the charts. Chardonnay has the ability to dazzle wine-drinkers like no other variety, and I think if you give this one a try you’ll know exactly what I mean. Watch the video below and let me know what you think. Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @DR_VirginWines

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A Visual Tour of Famille Perrin Winery

As part of our Virtual Winemaker project where we invited you, our customers, to get involved in the making of a southern French red in conjunction with our friends at the prestigious Famille Perrin winery, we ran a competition for those taking part to win a trip to the winery. I was delighted to spend two fantastic days recently with winners Tony and Antoni, plus Antoni’s wife Anna and Tim from our import company in the south of France.  Here is a selection of photos from our trip, which gives you a fascinating insight into life at this stunning family owned, French winery.

The cellars at Beaucastel

The awesome cellars at Chateau Beaucastel

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Treat Your Mum to a Special Tipple this Mother’s Day

We all know that mums are often over-worked and under-appreciated. So why not put a big smile on her face this Mother’s Day with a bottle from our range. It might not make up for not doing the hoovering or the dishes but it will definitely put you in her good books (at least for a day or two). And who knows, if you play your cards right you might even get a glass or two yourself!

Lanson Brut Rose

 

Lanson Brut Rosé Champagne in Gift Case

Ensure your mum feels like a million dollars with this incredibly classy gift. Presented in a pretty pink case, this is one of the most sought after and consumed Champagnes in the world.

 

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Two Mixed Cases for Spring – Sunshine For All

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Spring is upon us, the sun is creeping out from behind the clouds and we can finally venture out into our gardens without worrying about the potential for frostbite. Earlier this week I decided to fill my wine-rack in preparation for al fresco dining and BBQ adventures. In this three part series I’m going to highlight a few cases on our site that would make the perfect Spring selections, starting this week with a couple of mixed cases.

Blow Your Socks Off Mixed Case

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This case has been a customer favourite for as long as I can remember. Some of the very finest reds and some absolutely delicious whites. For fans of both, this is the case that you can’t be without to kick off your Spring. The sunshine has been out recently, and in between getting the garden in order and forcing the rust off the BBQ utensils, you’ll need a few glasses of wine to relax with.

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