Manchester has plenty of shops, big and small, offering thrilling, delicious and varied wines for you to choose from. Below we’ve picked out our favourite independent stores. Others to explore include Harvey Nichols Wine Shop, Evuna for Spanish wine on Deansgate and the new deli on Beech Road for hard-to-find French bottles, like Bandol (around £20).

1. Hanging Ditch

Hanging Ditch’s super-elongated display cabinet showcases the store’s portfolio of wines brilliantly with shelves for ‘Light and Juicy Reds’, ‘Shiraz’ and so on. Inside, or out on the terrace, explore wines by the glass and fine coffees with the delicious if expensive range of bottles available to drink in or take away. Owner Ben Stephenson (son of the famous architect) and partner-sommelier Mark Dent offer an unrivalled service – and they have a portfolio of awards to prove it. (Britannic Buildings, 42-44 Victoria Street, M3 1ST Tel: 0161 832 8222,

2. Reserve

Cute, well stocked and in the heart of West Didsbury, Reserve rather than Tesco is the place to pick up that bottle before heading to your friend’s dinner party. Reserve has been running for nearly 10 years and the name, implying to hold back the best, couldn’t be more accurate. I drink a lot of different wines but bottles are almost all ones you won’t know or find elsewhere, so milk the helpful staff for guidance. I can highly recommend the Indomita Nostra Gran Reserva Merlot (£8.25), and they have a special tasting coming up on Wed 25 Jul. Check website for details. (176 Burton Road, West Didsbury, M20 1LH. Tel: 0161 438 0101,

3. SuperStore Manchester

This well-ordered convenience store is home to an off-licence in the cellar of the main store. Wines (plus a larger than usual range of spirits) are supplied by, among others, respected restaurant wine supplier and international vineyard owner Boutinot. As a result, pretty much any choice will be above average. We’re not wild about the over-priced Young Punks range, but the French red selection, in particular, gets the green light. (G18 Smithfield Building, Tib Street, Northern Quarter. Tel: 0161 234 4567,

Ruth Allan
Published on:
Wed 18 Jan 2012