We look at the best festive wine selections in town
What’s red and white and makes Xmas merry?
Wine of course. The festive season is an excuse to treat yourself and your loved ones to some extra special bottles.
This year, supermarkets are probably one of the few businesses that have actually profited from the pandemic. So baubles to them, buy your Christmas wine case from your local wine merchant who will really appreciate your custom as well as providing arguably far superior wine. Here is our pick of local indies doing crackers of Christmas cases…
£65 for six bottles
With fizz in the shape of Cava, Marlborough sauvignon blanc and Macon chardonnay on the white team and perennial favourite reds Malbec and Rioja plus a half bottle of tawny port, this has something to put a twinkly light in everyone’s eye. There’s also a larger Christmas box with 12 bottles, an ‘adults only’ Christmas eve box with cheese and a vegan selection.
£75 for two bottles plus extras
Another one for lovers of natural and low intervention wines, this uber-hip wine merchants in Rossendale aims to take the mystery out of the often overwhelming world of wine and get people drinking better stuff. The Christmas box includes one bottle of natural wine, one of natural fizz, a large bottle of beer, coffee, kombucha, hard selzer, and stickers from a local Manchester artist all packaged up in a completely plastic-free, recycled and compostable gift box.
£90 for three bottles
One of our favourite places to go for a casual glass of wine and a plate of something wonderful in Ancoats, Erst has a few different seasonal cases of three on offer, all in the natural and low intervention camp. Probably the most festive is its classic bubbles collection for those wanting a more left field fizz. There’s a 100% pinot noir (aka blanc de noirs) brut Champagne from Marie Courtin, a Rietsch Cremant d’Alsace extra brut and a super crisp and bone dry brut nature Cava made from grapes from old vineyards in the protected park of Foix, Penedes.
£99 for six bottles
This bijou Chorlton wine shop has put together a Xmas bundle with recommended pairings for each bottle and we love it. There’s Cremant de Limoux to go with your canapés, Gavi di Gavi for the fish course, a big juicy Bodegas Piedra Prohibida red for the main, sherry for the Xmas pud, mature ruby port for your cheeseboard and a cognac stout as a nightcap. Certain to guarantee a good night’s sleep, probably starting midway through the Xmas film at around 6pm.
£102 for six bottles
This wonderful little Spanish tapas bar has had it harder than most this year as its restaurants are tiny and some weren’t able to open with social distancing rules in place. They have adapted to takeaway tapas and opened an online wine shop. This festive case is, in Spanish style, all about the Cava with FOUR bottles of the stuff, two white, two rosé, as well as a couple of bottles of reserva Rioja.
£120 for six bottles
As sommelier at Where The Light Gets In Caroline Dubois knows a thing or two about wine - especially of the natural, low intervention and biodynamic variety. Her wine shop and deli Isca has an exciting range of wines all year and they have put together a special surprise case for Xmas featuring two bottles of bubbles, one orange, one white and two red wines. You can get a mixed cheese and wine box from them too.
£123 for six bottles plus cocktails
The range of wine at this Prestwich wine store is seriously eclectic and they also know a thing or two about beer and cocktails. This case is suitably characterful with a bottle each of sauternes and tawny port as well as some Beaujolais (great with turkey), fizz in the form of Cremant de Bourgogne, a Washington state Chardonnay, a bottle of Phantom (a Californian red blend) and three little bottles of pre-mixed espresso martini.
£140 for six bottles
The details on this are a bit murky, rather like an un-fined orange wine. Rather appropriate as WTLGI loves to challenge you with less conventional, lower intervention but equally delicious fermented grape juice. This case promises six of the team’s favourites with ‘a bottle for each stage of merrymaking: something to party with, something to eat with, something to enjoy on Boxing Day during the wind down’ and more.
£150 for twelve bottles
Didsbury darlings and one of our favourite places to nip for a drink in Mackie Mayor. Reserve’s head honcho Kate Goodman is also BBC2’s Food & Drink show’s drinks pairing expert. This case contains plenty of crowd pleasing new and old world reds and whites (everything from Cotes de Beaune burgundy to South African chardonnay) as well as a couple of bottles of fizz, a dessert wine and a ruby port.
£220 for twelve bottles
Mary Ellen McTague was at the forefront of the natural wine buzz in Manchester when she opened The Creameries back in Spring 2018. These festive wine cases promise two bottles of fizz, two dessert or fortified wines, two oranges, three whites and three reds and you’ll have to trust Mary Ellen’s judgement that they will be fit for your feast as these are all the details you’re getting. We’ve had plenty of wine at The Creameries and never been disappointed so we reckon you’re in safe hands. There’s also a case of six for £120 if twelve wines are too much.
Want more? Here are some other local wine shops who would be happy to talk to you about a bespoke box or a couple of festive bottles
Cork Of The North - Award-winning wine tastings too
Corks Out - Warrington wine wallas
Sicilian NQ - Our beloved NQ Sicilians
Veeno - They have their own vineyard in Sicily don't you know?
Salvis - Italian specialists
Higher Ground - Natural wine from a superb pop-up restaurant
Nordie - Beer and natural wine in Levenshulme
Blossom Street Social - Ex-Hanging Ditch Ancoats wine bar
Le Social - Relative newbie to Ancoats ticking all the hipster boxes
Tipples of Mcr - Newish booze boutique off Albert Square
Lunya - Revolutionised during lockdown, Spanish wine fest
Kwoff - Bury's koolest wine store
Whalley Wine Shop - Award-winning Lancashire wine shop
Sam’s Chop House - Sommelier-selected wines from a Manchester institution
Harvey Leonards - a Glossop favourite