The Natural Wine Phenomenon in Greater Manchester

Natural wine is only getting more and more mainstream, here are five new places you can get your fix this weekend...

le_social_wine/Instagram

Natural wine Google searches have been on an upward trajectory pretty much since Google began but searches for this new illustrious wine peaked towards the latter end of 2020.

With a growing collective concern around sustainability and ethically produced food and drink, it’s only right natural and low intervention wines are set to become increasingly mainstream.

And while everyone was stuck at home and had tried every wine on offer at Aldi on their essentials shop, the nation took to Google to find out how they can drink the heavenly juice while also doing their bit for the world too.

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We’ve been talking about the latest drink trend for a good few years now, Ben asked all the questions you’d be too embarrassed to ask back in 2019 and they are probably still relevant to a fair few people even now, two years later.

An actual definition of ‘natural’ wine still remains non-existent though so there’s no wonder there can be a bit of confusion on the topic. Most commonly, ‘natural’ wine is interpreted to be wine made on a small scale with completely naturally grown grapes, meaning no pesticides.

The winemaking techniques of natural wine allow for more experimentation. The lack of chemicals leads to bacterial growth which adds a whole range of different flavour profiles.

Essentially – they’re a bit more ‘funky’ in flavour than normal wine.

You’ll often find natural wines with a sour or tart taste or some with earthy notes. It’s basically all down to the yeast found on the skin of the grape that are temperamental and unpredictable little beggars.

vindebodega/Instagram

Natural wines have only been getting more and more popular and that means it’s even easier to get your hands on the stuff that was once reserved to a select few restaurants in the city.

Manchester alone has seen a fair few new and small scale natural wine shops open in the past few months alone.

Made up of small teams of people hand-delivering a variety of natural, sustainable and/or low intervention wines across Greater Manchester, here are five small places you can get your natural wine fix in the city…

itsaliveshop/Instagram

One of those five is It’s Alive a one-stop-shop for all natural and low intervention wines which are essentially ‘alive’.

It’s Alive began in lockdown as an online store offering wine that is produced with sustainable, organic or biodynamic principles, fermented with wild/indigenous yeast and made with minimal intervention.

They also offer up a range of craft beers and ferments too! And the best thing – next day delivery across Greater Manchester.

Prices vary from £12 a bottle to £37.

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le_social_wine/Instagram

A second new addition to the natural wine scene in Manchester and one of the first on my radar was Le Social. With four main focuses of hospitality, empathy, generosity and sustainability, Le Social has responsibility and conscious living at its core.

They offer up wines that make a positive social impact, rich in cultural heritage and geographical identity – essentially all their wines have a story to tell.

The team deliver the wines straight to your door and even on their bike where they can. You’ll also find them in Pollard Yard, shipping wines from a shipping container.

Prices vary from £13.50 a bottle to £45

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Isca actually opened in 2019 but has gone onto some really wonderful things throughout the lockdown. Celebrating the labour, soil and growers behind the wine (and food), Isca focuses on transparency and working in respectful ways.

They deliver for free in M19 postcodes and deliver to M1, M4, M12-21 AND SK4-SK6 for a small fee.

Their store has a whole range of wines, including a ‘Spring Wine Box’ featuring six seasonal natural wines hand-picked by co-owner Caroline. Plus there’s a whole provision shop online and in-store too!

Prices vary from £13 a bottle to £79.

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You’ll often see Stockport based Wine Boy at Stockport markets and if you don’t spot him there, you can DM to order on his Instagram in a very modern, easy and approachable way!

You can see his menus over on the Instagram ‘highlights’, easily separated by colour.

Prices vary from £10 a bottle to around £40.

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vindebodega/Instagram

Set up by four local lads, Vin de Bodega launched in lockdown in an effort to make Manchester just as obsessed with natural wine as Eoghan, Jack, Rick and Raz are.

Operating on a ‘drop’ basis, you can order on Thursdays at 9am. Any orders made before 2pm will be delivered the next day or can be collected. But be quick, the past three drops have all sold out within 48 hours!

Prices vary from £20 a bottle to £40.

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