Wine Tasting in Manchester: 10 Places You Have to Try
Americans will likely think of soccer players in red jerseys or new-wave bands from the ’80s when Manchester first comes to mind, but well-researched travelers know that this city is an excellent destination for wine tasting. Manchester’s nightlife scene has historically been geared towards traditional English pubs, but an evening out on the town can also mean visiting a tapas restaurant or wine tasting room to enjoy some of the best selections the world has to offer.
Wine has become an integral part of the city's food and drinks culture, despite few wineries near the city (the climate makes it nearly impossible to manage a vineyard). But still, wine bars and stores have been popping up all over the city centre and suburbs. There are wine classes, tastings, and other events seemingly every night of the week. There are bottles imported from all over the world, with natural and orange wines becoming increasingly popular. Not that you can’t get a perfectly serviceable glass of chardonnay, but the Manchester wine scene has leaned towards the cutting edge for a few years now.
As you explore the modern wine scene of Manchester, make sure you're not carrying more than is necessary. Head to a Bounce luggage storage facility in Manchester, and let us take care of your stuff while you imbibe.
Whether you’re looking for a meal at a fine dining restaurant, a class where you can learn everything from the grapes to the cork, a bottle shop with a nice selection, or a trendy bar to enjoy the vibe, Manchester has you covered. Here’s our guide to the best wine tastings in Manchester:
Wine Tour Manchester
While there are no vineyards or wineries to visit in Manchester, you can still take a walking tour with a local wine expert. Wine Tour Manchester is the premier source for fun, informative, and social learning. While the venues may change, Wine Tour Manchester will meet at a wine tasting room near the city center. This group tour will be guided through the best places in Manchester for tasting wine, including bars, restaurants, shops, and other spots. It’s the perfect encapsulation for the Manchester wine industry, and you’ll learn everything from the grapes and vineyards to how this delicious beverage is marketed and sold.
Each tour guide will have sommelier-level knowledge, but that’s not the only prerequisite; these guides are funny and social. There is no requirement for wine knowledge to go on this tour, and it’s a great way to build a foundation for further cultivating your passion for wine.
The Craft Tour Company LTD / International House, 61 Mosley Street, Manchester, M2 3HZ
This stylish bar and restaurant has become a go-to wine tasting room in Manchester. The spacious, industrial-chic design has made it a trendy hangout for twenty-somethings, but the vibe leans more towards date night than nightlife. The food is exceptional, with charcuterie, cheese, and a delicious menu of tapas shared plates.
They have a large number of bottles on the menu and a helpful staff for finding the perfect one, but their tasting menu is perfect for trying a few glasses of syrah or orange wine. They have upwards of 40 selections that can be ordered by the glass! The list is internationally focused and is organized by country of origin. Salut also curates wines from lesser-known countries like Slovenia and Georgia, so exploring the menu is a must.
Located in the buzzy Chinatown neighborhood, this is a popular place to go after events, and Salut also functions as a bottle shop, so you can take a bottle (or two) home!
11 Cooper St, Manchester M2 4EG
Blossom Street Social
Wine tastings have never been more fun and vibrant than in this trendy restaurant located in the buzzy Ancoats district. Since opening in 2019, Blossom Street Social has become one of the most popular bars for wine tastings, in part because the place is aptly named. Many old-school wine bars (like a fine wine tasting room) can be stuffy, dimly lit, and downright stuffy, with an older crowd talking endlessly about this vineyard or that vineyard. Blossom Street Social takes its cues from the trendy brightly-lit bars with approachable yet creative food and energetic music.
The crowd leans towards twenty-something yuppies and even hipsters, but the space is comfortable for sitting down for a bottle or two while enjoying the vibe. Even with the approachability and social atmosphere, they have an outstanding wine list, where you can taste their extensive list of wine-by-the-glass. You can go with something classic, but don’t sleep on their impressive list of orange wines and natural and organic selections from all over the world.
51 Blossom St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6AJ
El Gato Negro Tapas Bar
Located in the city centre, El Gato Negro is one of the most popular tapas restaurants in Manchester, and its impressive wine program is a huge factor. While Spanish wines have a large footprint on the menu, you can discover wines from around the world on their impressive list. Despite mainly being a restaurant, the staff is knowledgeable and will be able to explain most labels on the menu. Sometimes they’ll even highlight a specific vineyard so you can know the wine’s entire story.
While tapas and Spanish food aren’t traditionally geared towards breakfast, this trendy spot is popular for Sunday brunch. Try a charcuterie and cheese plate to start and pair it with a nice Syrah before moving on to Tapas nirvana.
El Gato Negro is located near the Central Retail District, which makes it perfect for a visit before or after a shopping spree.
52 King St, Manchester M2 4LY
This company specializes in natural wine, which is becoming increasingly common in cities like Manchester and is a common sight in London or New York. Whether it’s a drinkable red from an obscure vineyard in Georgia (the country) or an acidic orange wine, Erst curates Manchester's most interesting wine menu.
Erst’s tasting menu allows you to savor wine from a large number of different varieties, countries of origin, and flavors, without having to break the bank by buying five different bottles. This is a wine bar for wine bar snobs. And if you find yourself in Manchester, you can’t skip this place.
9 Murray St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6HS
Both a bottle shop and a bar, Nordie has been on the Manchester dining scene’s cutting edge for a few years now. This explains the laidback neighborhood spot being a go-to for first dates and casual wine tastings for small groups. The fun and approachable atmosphere perfectly matches the small food menu comprised mostly of snacks and small plates, which also leans social. Nordie also serves a mean brunch, with an all-day breakfast menu on weekends that bring the early afternoon crowds.
Being as trendy as it gets, Nordie’s list focuses on natural wine, especially orange varieties. The list isn’t massive, but they focus on quality as opposed to quantity. The prices also seem to be geared toward the younger, trendy crowds, as it’s easy to find an affordable orange wine to split with friends.
While wine is the main focus, Nordie curates a decent beer menu, with a strong focus on modern European craft breweries that are reminiscent of their American counterparts. You might not find your standard pint of British beer, but beer lovers flock to Nordie for the newest IPA or sour.
1044 Stockport Rd, Levenshulme, Manchester M19 3WX
Wolf At The Door
Believe it or not, this legendary wine bar was an OG anchor to the Ancoats district BEFORE the hipsters and yuppies moved in to make it one of the coolest neighborhoods in the country. Wolf At The Door is located in the busiest stretch and has plenty of seating across two floors and an outdoor terrace, which is some of the most in-demand real estate in Manchester when the weather cooperates.
You can bring your own bottles for a small corkage fee, but with a selection like Wolf at the Door’s, you won’t want to. Along with a massive list of highly-curated natural wines, Wolf at the Door serves fun and approachable bites, like £1 tacos and other international street foods. Wolf at the Door specializes in balancing a superb wine-focused experience with a social setting that makes for a perfect night out with friends, and if you can get a seat on the outdoor terrace, even better!
30-32 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1ER
20 Stories Wine Bar
With so few wineries and vineyards in northern England, Manchester has needed to rely on wine-focused bars and restaurants to satisfy local and traveling enthusiasts. One of the stalwart examples of these establishments is 20 Stories Wine Bar, located on (ironically) the 19th floor of the tallest building in town: No. 1 Spinningfields. There is a restaurant along with an outdoor terrace with panoramic views of Manchester city centre, but the main draw here is the exceptional wine list. 20 Stories offers hundreds of bottles from countries all over the world and not just your average France-Italy-Spain-Australia wine list. Lesser-known wine-making regions like Chile, Georgia, and New Zealand are all showcased at 20 Stories. Combining the deep selection with an unbeatable view, 20 Stories is a can’t-miss wine tasting experience.
NO. 1, 1 Hardman Square, Manchester M3 3EB
Northern Wine School
This company has been hosting the most popular Manchester wine classes for years. It’s the go-to source for local wine enthusiasts looking to expand their knowledge beyond knowing the difference between red and white. During special classes, you’ll learn from local vintners and attend a session in a wine tasting room where you can meet with other local and traveling enthusiasts. You’ll also learn fascinating details, such as how different flavors are derived from grapes grown in certain climates or the different wine-making methods from around the world.
And they don't only host wine classes; they are also experts in a wide variety of spirits and are authorities on British and international beer styles. The best way to book is through their website, where you’ll find an extensive array of classes sorted by beverage, knowledge level, and time. There are also “one-off” classes that are focused on a specific beer or wine style, and of course, there’s a tasting!
Suite 4b, 113-115 Portland St, Manchester M1 6DW
Manchester Wine School
If you truly love wine, there’s always a sense of discovery and curiosity. This would explain why events and classes are so popular around the world. The wine industry has always had a mysticism to it that most casual enthusiasts and novices find daunting. Manchester Wine School completely does away with that by making learning about wine fun and approachable. They offer a wide variety of classes ranging from fine wine tasting to specific varieties or countries of origin. Checking their listings is the best way to pick the class that appeals to you the most.
These classes are generally held in a wine tasting room near the city centre, so it’s very easy to get to. There are also wine classes for private groups, but their general offerings are usually social and a great way to meet other wine enthusiasts!
Novotel hotel, 21 Dickinson St, Manchester M1 4LX
Wine tastings might never be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Manchester (or England, for that matter), but that doesn’t mean the Manchester wine scene isn't about as good as you get. Whether you’re looking for a fun way to cap off 3 days in the city or are just passing through, sipping wine on a rooftop bar or trendy tapas restaurant is the perfect way to enjoy the city. In just about every neighborhood, there’s a perfectly fine wine tasting room that serves choice selections worldwide. Even better, there’s a movement towards stylish bars and restaurants where sipping wine in a trendy neighborhood spot is becoming one of the go-to nightlife activities in Manchester. So head over to a relaxed tapas bar, romantic wine-tasting room, or quaint bottle shop. Just remember to leave the bags with Bounce.