Richard Branson has unveiled Virgin Wines, which he claims is the world’s largest internet wine retailer.

Launched in central London, Virgin Wines claims a database of 17,500 wines and hopes to make a healthy profit of £100 million by 2005. attempts to tailor types of wine to suit visitor preferences. Visitors are asked whether they prefer to take delicate sips or would sooner neck the whole bottle.

After ascertaining the required strength, dryness and colour, the site conjures up a wine that matches the drinker’s tastes.

"We aim to do for wine what the Kamasutra did for sex. Too many of us are stuck in the missionary position - we know there's more fun to be had but we don't know where to start and are too embarrassed to ask,” said Sir Richard.

According to market research company Mintel, Branson could be on to a good thing. A recent study indicates that shown that nearly three quarters of British adults buy wine and the average wine-drinker spends between £800 and £1000 on what was once considered to an exclusively middle-class beverage.