Prosecco sales were up by 800% over 2012

Prosecco sales were up by 800% over 2012

Virgin Wines sold a third more Prosecco this Christmas compared to the year before, the UK online retailer has said.

The firm offloaded 51,000 Prosecco bottles last month compared to 38,000 in December 2014, with the Italian sparkling wine outselling Champagne by five to one, Virgin said earlier today. The amount was eight times greater than in 2012, when just 6,350 Prosecco bottles were sold.

Overall, Virgin Wines' like-for-like sales in the six weeks to 2 January were up 12% as Christmas shoppers increasingly turned to online retailers. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc sales jumped by 33% while Australian wines were up 15%. However, Old World wines accounted for 53% of overall sales, with France the biggest-selling country.

Sales through Virgin Wines' wine advisors - 34 WSET-trained sales staff who give one-to-one advice to customers - increased by 21%, "emphasising the consumer demand for a personalised approach to buying wine online", the company said.

"Our results highlight ... consumers' ever-growing confidence in buying wine online - especially during the festive season," said CEO Jay Wright.

Wright was part of management-buyout team that bought Virgin Wines from Direct Wines for GBP14m in 2013.