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Virgin Wines: Celebration fizz for less

PUBLISHED: 14:17 04 December 2015 | UPDATED: 14:17 04 December 2015

Virgin Wines

Virgin Wines

Archant

It’s a long held belief that the finest celebrations require the finest sparkling wines. It’s natural then that the biggest celebration of the year (Christmas) warrants a fine fizz to go with it, premium champagne from one of the finest houses in France perhaps...

... However that comes with a cost, and sometimes the purse strings just can’t stretch that far in December, but that doesn’t mean you have to go without. There are a number of alternatives that the British public are turning to.

You may or may not have heard about the rise of Prosecco, the Italian alternative to Champagne. Some feared there would be a shortage of Prosecco due to the demand, but luckily for everyone, that never materialised. When you add in some of the superb sparkling wines being produced around the World, there really are a lot of alternatives to the traditional Champagne toast.

In 2015 Prosecco racked up greater sales in the UK than Champagne, the first time it has ever achieved such a status. Sales of Prosecco grew by 72% in comparison to 2014, reaching £338.6m, as opposed to Champagne that grew by just 1.2% to £250m. More people are turning to Prosecco as the cheaper alternative and it’s easy to see why.

A bottle of good champagne is likely to set you back over £30, and if you have a taste for the finer things in life, it will cost upwards of £100 per bottle. Prosecco on the other hand is more likely to be around the £10 mark and as many of our customers are discovering, can be just as delicious and just as impressive.

Prosecco is made using the Glera grape native to the Veneto region of Italy. A lot of proseccos are medium-bodied dry or off dry with delicate stone fruit flavours. There are different types of Prosecco, some can be fully sparkling (spumante) and some are lightly sparkling (frizzante). However you’ll find they tend to be a little lighter than a lot of Champagnes, which make them perfect for entertaining over the Christmas season.

Alternatively you have slightly sparkling low alcohol wine like our Araldica Moscato d’Asti, a 5% offering from Italy, it’s light enough to be the perfect aperitif, but delicious enough to really impress your assorted guests. With it being just £9.99, it’s also ultimately affordable

We have sparkling selections from Australia, South Africa and the UK. Perhaps a Champagne blend from Sussex? It’s thoroughly enjoyable and will create quite the conversation as you show off your knowledge of the local wine scene. Maybe a sparkling Verdelho from the cape of South Africa is more your thing.

There is value to be had in celebration fizz this Christmas, you just need to explore off the beaten track and be willing to experiment.

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