Christmas wine gifts to buy with your Virgin Points, as recommended by an expert
Thinking about trying a different wine with Christmas dinner this year? As one of Virgin Wines’ cohort of specialised wine buyers, Sophie Lord has something of a dream job. As Head of Wine Buying, she scours the world in search of all the very best new varieties and independent suppliers that she knows her customers will adore – and the task comes into its own at Christmas.
“Everyone has their own go-to formulas when it comes to stocking up on festive wines,” Sophie says. “For the festive season it’s got to be fizz for celebrating! And if your budget won’t stretch to Champagne then a good bottle of Crémant or Prosecco will go down a treat with loved ones.”
If you’re worried about pairing the wrong wine with your Christmas meal, Sophie thinks the best option is always what you enjoy. “As a rule, drink what you enjoy with what you eat. It doesn’t matter if an oaky Chardonnay pairs really well with roast meats and nut roasts if it’s not a type of wine you enjoy.
"I really like a mid-weight red such as a Chilean Cinsault. It is plush enough to pair with my turkey with all the trimmings and cranberry sauce, but it has a refreshing kick of acidity and spice.”
Virgin Wines has a 40-strong team of dedicated Wine Advisors that any customer can contact for free, to build a case of wine flavours and styles that are exactly scoped to their tastes. And those in search of a Christmas tipple can also have a browse on Virgin Red, where a selection of fabulous cases wait to pick up with your Virgin Points. These festive collections do the hard work for you, pulling together a mix of classic and unique wines to suit everyone, from seasoned crowd-pleasers to a special gift.
Without further ado, here are some of the best festive gifts you can buy from Virgin Red using your Virgin Points this Christmas – with recommendations from Sophie, who has worked at Virgin Wines for 15 years, along the way.
White wine case: buy 12 and get three free – 19,000 points
Dreaming of a white Christmas? With this fabulous offer you can get a case of 15 bottles for the price of 12 which includes a Chenin Blanc from a rising-star winemaker in the coastal region of South Africa and a Chardonnay, straight out of South East Australia - an absolute ripper in nature as well as name.
“The Vermentino is a wonderful crisp Sicilian white which tastes like lemon drizzle cake (but not sweet) – it’s a perfect white for charming friends and family.
"Ovington’s Swartland Chardonnay is a great wine for Xmas day – the creamy texture gives it a little more weight and the natural acidity of Chardonnay will help it stand up to rich white meats and crunchy roasted potatoes.”
Red wine case: buy 12 and get three free – 19,000 points
Christmas just isn’t the same without a top-notch tipple of red, and Sophie has a few favourites in this cracking case on offer for Christmas.
“MLBC Earth & Sun Malbec is a favourite of mine as a lover of big fruity reds. 90% of the grapes come from Mendoza, but 10% of the grapes come from the more premium Uco Valley. Grown at higher altitude with a longer ripening period, this results in more concentration and it’s the Uco Valley component which elevates this wine to the next level,” Sophie explains.
“Most people think of France or Australia when they talk about Shiraz/Syrah, but the Pizo Syrah – with its signature dark berry fruit and lovely cracked black pepper character – shows what Spain has to offer when it comes to this variety.”
Mixed wine case: buy 12 and get three free – 19,000 points
Can’t choose between the red and white? Get the best of both worlds with the Christmas mixed wine case – also on offer for 19,000 points. There’s something for everyone in this case, including the uniquely crafted Les Arbousiers Trio, a perfect trinity of Sauvignon Blanc, Colombard and Gros Manseng.
“Solpiantez Spumante Brut Millesimato is great for any celebration! This Northern Italian bubbly is bursting with crisp, crunchy flavours and a lovely citrus finish. It’s a great alternative to Prosecco if you fancy trying something new.”
Raise your glasses: this festive season is set to be tasty indeed.