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  1. Prize is for a grass-fed, free range BBQ box worth £50.
  2. To be entered into this competition, you must like the Virgin Wines and Field and Flower Facebook page, and have shared and liked the competition post.
  3. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
  4. Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified.
  5. Open to UK residents only
  6. Open to people aged 18 and over.
  7. Winner will be picked at random.
  8. This competition is not open to Virgin Wines and Field and Flower employees

The post Field and Flower Social competition appeared first on Virgin Wines Blog.

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Virgin Wines Blog by Jen Hudson - 1w ago

It’s Summer which means one thing! Garden parties and BBQs with family and friends! Our wine experts have picked eight smashing wines, guaranteed to win over your guests this season.

Bastions V Western Cape Shiraz 2016

This South African red is packed full of delicious fruity flavours including delicious cherry fruit and a hint of spice!

14.5% ABV

Given a fabulous 4.1 stars by our customers

 

Billy Bosch Bushvine Cinsault 2017

Another South African beauty, the Billy Bosch Bushvine Cinsault 2017 is a juicy red that can be enjoyed on it’s own, with some delicious pork dishes or cheeses. Treat yourself to it’s black cherry flavours and subtle floral overtones.

14% ABV

Given a fabulous 4 stars by our customers

 

Shed Ten Merlot 2016

A cracking Merlot from our friends down-under, the Shed Ten Merlot is definitely a crowd pleaser with it’s lovely plumy melange of gentle flavours.

14.5% ABV

Given a fabulous 4 stars by our customers

 

La Novena Garnacha 2017

A spectacular wine from one of Spain’s best regions, La Novena Garnacha is not only easy drinking but has some delicious plum and raspberry flavours too.

14% ABV

Given a fabulous 4 stars by our customers

 

Primavara Sauvignon Blanc 2017

A Sauvignon Blanc that’s travelled all the way from Romania, the Primavara Sauvignon Blanc offers lovely citrus notes and is beautifully balanced.

12% ABV

Given a fabulous 4 stars by our customers

 

Vitalita Garganega 2016

Loved by many, the Vitalita Garganega delivers rich and decadent flavours including tropical fruit without being too heavy. It’s fragrant and goes very well with Thai food.

12% ABV

Given a fabulous 4.1 stars by our customers

 

Bastions V Bush Vine Chenin Blanc 2017

Produced in the western cape of South Africa, the Bastions V Bush Vine Chenin Blanc will tantalise your taste buds with it’s refreshing tropical and apple flavours.

13.5 ABV

Given a fabulous 4.1 stars by our customers

 

Bendico Terre Siciliane Vermentino 2017

A fresh and salty Vermentino from the island of Sicily, the Bendico Terre Siciliane Vermentino has notes of Lemon, subtle green herbs and ripe pear on the palate.

13% ABV

Given a fabulous 4.4 stars by our customers

Enjoy a fantastic £16 off this delightful case of Garden Party wines, this week only.

Shop now

The post Garden Party Wines appeared first on Virgin Wines Blog.

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Riesling is the noblest and most-planted grape variety in Germany. Its dominance of German vineyards might suggest a monotony in its wine production, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

The slowly-but-surely growing consumer resistance to heavily oaked, chunky wines might well be the turning point for Riesling. Grown to its strengths, it’s the stylistic antithesis. The naturally vibrant and well-defined apple and lime fruit typical in Riesling doesn’t marry well with the tannin and spice imparted by small oak barriques, and so you’ll be hard-pressed to find a Riesling where the oak dominates its aromatics.

Riesling is also a variety that effortlessly displays the characteristics of its origin. Known as terroir, the unique character given to a wine by the soil, vines and microclimate of a vineyard, this is a very desirable trait in the current UK market where consumers are more and more knowledgeable and appreciate the uniqueness and provenance of a wine more than ever before.

Compare the Heinrichshof Riesling Trocken with the Hiestand Asia de Cuba Riesling, for example. While they share the obvious varietal character of Riesling, these are two dry wines in a very different style as a result of their origin. The Heinrichshof has real definition and purity to its fruit with a firm mineral grip on the palate. The south-facing vineyards of Wehlen in the Mosel Valley are steep and soils rich in slate. This steepness allows the rainfall to drain off, forcing the vines to dig deep into the mineral-rich soil in search of water, giving the wine its famous mineral texture and flavour. Conversely, the Hiestand Riesling from the flatter, warmer region of Rheinhessen has more volume, riper fruit character and an easier going texture on the palate. It’s also slightly cheaper as the vineyards are much easier to farm in comparison to the Mosel Valley!

Riesling’s other major string to its bow is its ability to age. Its naturally high acidity and high levels of extract (all the good stuff – minerals, flavour, etc.) give the wine everything it needs to develop in bottle for years and even decades with minimal risk of spoilage. The evolution of Riesling is fascinating. From searing, primary green apple and citrus when young, to dark honey and marmalade when mature, with paraffin and flint anywhere in between. Ulrich Langguth’s Riesling from Piesport interestingly displays a toffee apple character after 14 years in the bottle. It’s a huge incentive for customers to buy a quality, young Riesling to lay down and see which direction it goes in as the years pass.

Sweetness (or more accurately, ripeness at harvest) is a factor in the diversity of Riesling wines too. Germany’s ‘Pradikatswein’ system classifies the grapes into ripeness levels come harvest time. It’s the natural racy acidity of Riesling that allows this to be possible as any residual sugars must be accompanied by high levels of acidity to give balance to the palate.

For those with a sweet tooth, you’ll find ‘Trockenbeerenauslese’ at the top of this system. These bunches are left beyond ‘optimum’ ripeness and the individual berries hand selected from the bunch so only those in perfect condition get through. Given the process, you won’t be surprised to hear these aren’t the cheapest wines on the market, but the high sugar and acid levels give these wines the potential to age for many decades. Heinrichshof make an absolute gem which is well worth a look.

For the month of July we’re giving away 10% on all of our German Rieslings just to give you a nudge to get involved. Click here!

The post The reasons to choose Riesling appeared first on Virgin Wines Blog.

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Summer is finally here, so what better excuse to spend the long evenings sipping on some delicious wines with our friends and family. A trend which has taken the UK by storm, rosé wine has become very popular over the past year, which is no surprise at all since it’s super delicious and very refreshing!

We have so many fantastic rosé wines available from across the globe, so if you’re looking for a glass of something interesting and exciting, our wine buyers have some great suggestions.

First up we have the Gypsy Lee Rosé White Zinfandel 2016.

A White Zinfandel rosé rated a fantastic 4 stars out of 5 by our customers, Gypsy Lee Rosé is a fun, easy drinking wine which has won multiple awards including Virgin Wines Best Rosé 2018 and the LWA Bronze Medal last year.

Not only will it win you over with its incredible aroma, but it also has delicate strawberry and redcurrant flavours to wow your taste buds.

On the flip side, if you’re looking for something a little sweeter, Amatista Moscato Rosé is  definitely the way to go.

A Spanish Muscat wine, the Amatista Moscato Rosé is an easy, low alcohol alternative from Valencia. Light with a stunning sweetness and spritz, this rosé has been said to be one of the most refreshing drinks out there.

Semi-sparkling, it’s been a huge hit with the locals and is crammed with red berry flavours.

Third in our line-up is the refreshing Aralidica d’Aria Pinot Grigio Rosé 2017.

A modern rosé which can be enjoyed all year round, the Aralidica is a wine packed with fruity flavours. It has the zest and verve of a Pinot Grigio and is definitely a crowd pleaser.

Produced by a small, family run vineyard in the hills of Italy, this vegan rosé won a bronze medal at last year’s International Wine Challenge.

Feeling inspired? Discover our full range of rosé wines here.

The post 3 Rose Wines to Try This Summer appeared first on Virgin Wines Blog.

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Happy #WorldGinDay!

Gin has certainly become one of the drinks of the moment over the past couple of years and what better way to celebrate World Gin Day then to discover some new and exciting gins to try from Virgin Wines.

Discover some of our fantastic gins below or

checkout our full range here

From left to right

X Gin. (£44.99) Whitley Neil Gin. (£34.99) and Herno Gin. (£39.99)

 Old Curiosity Mini Bottle Gift Pack (£24.99)

    Foxhole Gin. (£39.99)

The post Be Ready for World Gin Day appeared first on Virgin Wines Blog.

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– Prize is for one of two £250 TM Lewin gift cards

– To be entered into this competition, you must like the Virgin Wines and TM Lewin Facebook page, and have shared and liked the competition post.

– There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.

– Only one entry will be accepted per person. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified.

– Open to UK residents only

– Must be travelling from the UK

– Open to people aged 18 and over

– Winner will be picked at random

– This competition is not open to Virgin Wines and TM Lewin employees

The post TM Lewin Father’s Day Competition T’s and C’s appeared first on Virgin Wines Blog.

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Nothing beats the look of joy on a persons face when they receive a gift that they truly love! Our Editor shares some fantastic gift ideas to help you find the perfect gift for Father’s Day. From presents for the foodie dad, the sophisticated dad, the globe trotter to the adventurer, we’ve got you covered!

For the Foodie Dad

Brix Chocolate Tasting Party Gift Set

A smashing gift for #TheFoodie Dad! Discover 4 delicious chocolate flavours that go hand in hand with a superb glass of wine.

Shop now

BBQ Wine Utensil Set

For the Foodie Dad who loves to cook up a storm on the BBQ. This fantastic essentials gift pack offers a fabulous bottle of wine, a BBQ rub, smoked vine chips and a utensils set.

Shop now

For the sophisticated Dad

Chateauneuf-Du-Pape Gift Set

The perfect gift for the #sophisticated Dad this Father’s Day, this beautiful bottle of Chateauneuf-du-Pape is presented in a special case with essential accessories.

Shop now

Dad’s Limited Edition Black Pig Shiraz

The ultimate gift idea for the sophisticated Dad, discover the Limited Edition ‘Dad’s Black Pig’ bottle of Shiraz. With hand-numbered tasting notes and a bespoke tube, this really is a gift that he will treasure.

Shop now

For the Globe Trotter Dad

French Collection of Wines

For the Dad who appreciates the superb taste of French #wines, this fantastic trio is guaranteed to get the thumbs up this Father’s Day.

Shop now

Gran Villa Gran Reserva

A delicious blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Graciano, this Spanish beauty is bursting with fruit on the nose and palate. A fantastic gift for the GlobeTrotter Dad!

Shop now

Australian Wine Duo Set

The perfect gift idea for the Globetrotter Dad all the way from sunny Australia. This Australian Wine Duo Gift Box has two of our bestselling wines including ‘16 Little Black Pigs’ and ‘VAT 27 Cabernet Sauvignon.’

Shop now

Fincas Del Sur Gift Set

For the globetrotter Dad who loves to make his way around the world one glass of wine at a time, this beautiful Malbec is all the way from Argentina.

Shop now

For the Adventurer Dad

Langton’s No.1 Gin

For the adventurer Dad who loves to try everything, the Langton’s No.1 Lakeland Gin has a smooth and interesting flavour and can be enjoyed on its own with ice and a slice of lemon.

Shop now

Luxury Best of Virgin Wines Gift Set

For the adventurer Dad who loves to try something new, this Luxury Wine Selection Box is just the ticket with five incredible mini bottles of wine, a tasting note booklet and a wine glass.

Shop now

Duppy Share Caribbean Rum

For the adventurer Dad who loves to experience some incredible different flavours from around the globe, the Duppy Share Caribbean Rum is a smooth, global blend of cask-aged rum. Packed with tropical flavours and a warm buttery finish.

Shop now

Yard of Ale Gift Set

The ultimate gift idea for a beer enthusiast, the Yard of Ale Gift Tube has eight craft beers from the Best of British Beer. Includes an IPA, Lager and six other ales to be discovered.

Shop now

The post Perfect Gift Ideas for Father’s Day appeared first on Virgin Wines Blog.

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After a long growing season at the mercy of nature, and an abundance of critical decisions are made in the winery turning the fruits of labour into wine, the winemaker embarks on the most creative element of the wine-making journey. At this point they will have a selection of quality individual wines each with their own personality, whether they be resting in oak barrels, or from different terroirs of the estate, or different grape varieties. This is where the real artistry of wine comes into play and gives the winemaker the final and most important decision to make – how to blend these component parts together to make the best possible wine.

The appellation system in France (a number of strict rules around production) was originally set up to maintain quality and regional authenticity in wine. Most consumers will know to expect a soft, approachable red when buying ‘Cotes-du-Rhone’. This consistency in style is achieved by blending, using more of the softer components in the winery to recreate that style.

In the Rhone the appellation system permits the use of 15 red grape varieties and 12 white, each with their own individuality and character. These provide a diverse palette from which the winemaker can work towards the wine in their mind, creating something unique and impressive every vintage.

Within the parameters set by the appellation system, there still remains a huge amount of flexibility for the winemaker to create a wine that can express the vintage conditions and its origin. By the use of blending, the winemaker can give centre stage to varietal character that is particularly attractive in certain years, or grapes that really express the uniqueness of particular vineyard sites.

It’s an art form that simultaneously works to meet our expectations yet provides us with an element of surprise from vintage to vintage, and keeps us coming back for more!

The post The Art of Blending in the Rhone appeared first on Virgin Wines Blog.

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There are different types of dad, all with their own quirky personalities. We’ve come up with a quick quiz to determine that personality and if you’re stuck for a gift idea, we’ll even give you a little suggestion.

10 quick question, four potential personalities, four potential gifts. Give it a go.

The post Virgin Wines Father’s Day Personality Quiz appeared first on Virgin Wines Blog.

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We asked our resident chef Luke Leeder to create something a little special. We had a beautiful bottle of the Bolney Estate Sandstone Bacchus and the promise of bright sunshine, we needed something for summer. Luke really delivered with his pan fried sea bass. You can find the recipe below, and if you try your hand at this delicious dish, don’t forget to send us your pictures on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Ingredients

  • 2 Sea bass fillets, skin on and bones removed (if you can get wild seabass, it’s well worth spending the extra money)
  • 6 asparagus spears (locally grown if in season)

For the Shellfish stock (you can buy this from some supermarkets but great to make your own) Will yield 1-1.5 litre(s);

  • 120g Shellfish shells, from prawn, lobster and/or crab (Ask your fishmonger as they’re happy to give you these for free)
  • 1 large white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp tomato puree
  • Several sprigs of parsley
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons salt

For the risotto;

  • 400g Arborio risotto rice
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 Ltr shellfish stock
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 sprigs of Parsley, leaves trimmed and finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Thyme (fresh if you can but dried is fine if not)

Method

For the Shellfish stock;

  1. Break any larger pieces of shell up in a plastic bag using a rolling pin or meat hammer
  2. Lay out on a large roasting tin and roast at 180C for 10 minutes to release all the great flavours
  3. Place into a large stock pot or casserole dish and add enough water to cover shells with around an inch of water. Heat on high until you see bubbles starting to rise to the surface then reduce heat down to medium.
  4. Maintain temperature and do not let the water come to boil or stir, as stirring will muddy the stock.
  5. Skim any foam that forms at the surface of the water and continue to cook like this for around an hour.
  6. Add the carrots, onion, celery, puree, parsley, thyme and peppercorns to the pan and reduce down to the lowest heat and cook for a further 30 minutes. Add salt and remove from heat.
  7. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove as many solids as you can from the stock and discard.
  8. Place some cheesecloth on a fine mesh strainer over a large pot and pour the stock through the strainer. Put pan onto a very low heat if using straight away.

For the Risotto

  1. Put a large glug of oil into a deep, heavy based frying pan and put on a medium heat.
  2. Add the onions and garlic and fry for 5-7 minutes until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the Arborio rice and stir to cover all of the grains with oil, cook for another 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add the white wine and turn heat up to medium high, cook for 3-4 minutes until the wine has been absorbed.
  5. Pour a couple of ladleful’s of stock into the pan to nearly cover the rice, stir and allow the rice to absorb, once the rice has nearly absorbed all stock, repeat process and continue to cook like this for 25-30 or until the rice becomes soft with the stock fully absorbed.
  6. Stir through the butter and parsley, squeeze juice from half the lemon and season to taste. Remove from heat and cover.

For the Sea bass and Asparagus

  1. Pour a glug of oil into a large bowl and place the asparagus in, season with salt and pepper and coat with the oil and seasoning. Repeat with the sea bass fillets.
  2. Heat a frying pan and griddle pan to a medium/high heat, add the asparagus to the griddle pan and the sea bass, skin side down to the frying pan.
  3. Turn the asparagus throughout to give colour and griddle marks from the pan. Cook for 5-7 minutes.
  4. Keep the fish skin side down for 5 minutes until the skin becomes crisp, has colour and the meat begins to whiten. Turn and cook for 30-60 seconds or until you feel it is cooked through.

To Serve;

Spoon the risotto into a bowl (can use a metal cooking ring for structure), place the sea bass on the centre of the rice skin side up, slice 2 asparagus spears in half lengthways and layer on top of the fish. Garnish with a sprig of parsley and slice of lemon.

The post Pan fried Sea bass with shellfish stock risotto and grilled asparagus appeared first on Virgin Wines Blog.

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