Expect two days, three sessions, 200 wines and 500 jolly tipplers to mark Hanging Ditch wine merchant's tenth anniversary

Hanging Ditch wine merchant’s annual Wine Fair in Manchester Cathedral is the highlight of the wine swiggers’ (oops, connoisseurs’) calendar. Now it has just got bigger, jumping from one evening session to three sessions across two days, October 27 and 28. And they are even throwing in a stellar quartet of wine experts to enhance the occasion.

Reason for the big bash? Amazingly Ben Stephenson’s multi-award-winning shop, is ten years old this autumn. He has described the neighbouring Cathedral as “having the feel of the best ever wine cellar”. So pack it with over 200 wines and sundry other tipple and food and you can guarantee 500 jolly tipplers.

Maybe it’s a gamble to try and triple that attendance but the presence of the ‘Wine Gang’ for the first time in the city should prove a big draw. National scribes Jane Parkinson, Joanna Simon, Anthony Rose and David Williams are a polished act with their own roadshow. Check out their illustrious CVs here.

20172006 Hanging Ditch Cathedral
Hanging Ditch wine fair, Manchester Cathedral

“We are so pleased to have got them on board… It’s the first time they have teamed up with an independent wine merchant to put on a show,” says Ben.

So what do they bring to the Fair, already one of the UK’s best?

1 Each ‘gang member’ will be carefully selecting a special mixed case of wine to be enjoyed over the festive season. There will be two versions of each mixed case selection, the themes being a Christmas case and a New Year’s Eve case.

2 The gang will be running special wine walks where they will taste the wines they have selected for their mixed cases, explaining in person the rationale behind their choices.

3 Each ‘gang member’ will deliver a 45 minute masterclass at the fair covering a specialist subject of their choice. Attendees will have the opportunity to pre-book spaces on these masterclasses for an additional fee.

20172006 Hanging Ditch Ben
Ben Stephenson from Hanging Ditch bar and vinoteca

Also... Cork of the North Summer Wine Fair – Thursday, June 29

A more modest affair this from the Sale-based shop/wine bar run by New Order DJ Marc Hough. The venue is Sale Town Hall and between 7.30pm and 10pm you’ll be able to work your way through 50 wines. Tickets are available from Cork of the North, 13 Northenden Road, M33 2DH or by ringing 0161 962 6263.

More info:

Hanging Ditch Wine Fair, Manchester Cathedral, Victoria St, Manchester M3 1SX. 

Friday, Oct 27 6pm-9.30pm (early bird tickets £25, regular £30), hosted by gang members Jane Parkinson and David Williams ; Saturday, Oct 28, 1pm-3.30pm day session (early bird £20, regular £25) 5pm-8.30pm evening session (early bird £25, regular £30), both hosted by gang members Joanna Simon and Anthony Rose.

The limited number of ‘early bird’ tickets will be on sale until August 31, limited availability, directly from Hanging Ditch wine merchants in person, via  0161 8323 8222 or at www.hangingditch.com