Ahead of the weekend, we took on the arduous task of popping into some of Manchester’s specialist wine bars to have a chat about which wines are made to be enjoyed during the hotter months. Listen, someone’s gotta do it!
We stuck fairly local, paying our fellow Northern Quarter friends at Ad Hoc a visit, but also swung by Levenshulme’s Isca Wines and Monton’s Wandering Palate for further expert advice and opinion on the very best summer tipples.
From sparkling reds, to beginner oranges, they all supplied us with a diverse list of drinks to accompany barbecues, sun soaked picnics in the park and a cheeseboard in the garden. There’s also a range of sparkling treats for anyone celebrating a special occasion this weekend, and I’m led to believe that this could be the very last time the sun will pay us a visit this summer, at least surpassing 30º, so if there was ever any excuse to treat yourself this weekend, there it is.
KERB – Vignereuse, Mayga Watt (£25)
If you’re after something sparkling with sweet notes of strawberry, vanilla and watermelon, KERB has you covered with this stunning rosé. The wine bar said it’s a perfect addition to a Saturday brunch, but also works as an accompaniment to a long summer’s evening that’s in need of a juicy refreshment. The wine is made by Marine Leys, a young, female winemaker from Turkey who rents vineyards in France’s Gaillac region.
Wandering Palate – Rallo Vicoletto Catarratto Orange Wine (£13.49)
A wine that’s derived from Western Sicily, Monton’s Wandering Palate chose this for its “delicious, perfect sunshine natural wine” nature that’s a flavour mix of citrus, grapefruit and apple. It’s organic, vegan friendly and also has a gorgeous label, which shouldn’t really matter when choosing a wine, but we’d be lying if we said it didn’t influence our decision.
Salut Wines – Langlois-Château Crémant Brut (£17)
A great value alternative to classic champagne, this sparkling wine has a rich depth of flavour with crisp notes of peach and grapefruit. It’s probably a better choice for those with a more refined wine palate, as Salut Wines explained it’s a perfect drink for important ceremonies with an appley freshness and hints of citrus. The wine creators, Langlois-Château have been specialising in sparkling wines for over 130 years, so they’re a great go-to brand if you’re looking to explore this particular style.
Ad Hoc – Uivo Curtido (£22)
A great introduction to orange wine, this bottle has a gentle, velvety texture with a waxy clementine rind flavour. The taste is finished off with bright white peach and melon, and a sweet honey warmth making it a great addition to a summer picnic or alfresco BBQ lunch with your pals. The maker, Tiago, farms about 8 different vineyards all located within a 5km radius of his winery and this particular bottle was hand harvested in September using no stirring, refining or filtering processes.
Isca Wines – Litrozzo Rosato 2021 (£29)
A wonderfully chilled organic wine with a Watermelon shade, Litrozzo Rosato is perfect to share in the park. It’s full of fruit and a slight sourness, as well as aromas of rose and minerals – a good all rounder, light on the palate but explosively fragrant! The Italian wine is made in the Gradoli region, known for its excellent wine production and historic landscapes with a close proximity to Lake Bolsena.
Erst – Lost In A Field Frolic Pét Nat (£9 a glass)
A sparkling wine with satsuma and citrus flavours, Lost In A Field comes from a UK-based wine maker and is made using a blend of 21 heritage grape varieties from seven English and Welsh vineyards. The wine is a deep orange in colour with a slight haze to it, but has a big energetic taste palette of clementine, orange, tangerine and green apple – with some juicy ripe mango chucked in there, too.
Wolf At The Door – Rosé Samplemousse (£45)
A sulphate free natural wine with bursts of tangy citrus, this dark rosé is grown on granite soil and is made to be paired with cheese, charcuterie boards, potent seafood or a light summer salad. On Sundays, Wolf At The Door also hosts its Wolf Wine Club, where wine lovers and wine curious can sample some of the bar’s best wines for just £5 a glass – so if you’ve been looking to get into some of the more unique styles, this is the best way to try them!
Le Social – Pinot Blanc The Arches 2020 (£35)
You’ll find that this wine is a rich, glossy, textured white, with lemon curd, honeydew, bramley apple and comice pear notes dominating the palette. The winemaker, Blackbook Winery is an urban winery located in a railway arch in Battersea, a stone’s throw from Battersea Park in south London. They source their high-quality grapes from yards no more than few hours drive away from the city – taking no compromise in quality or flavour across their diverse range of drinks.
Another Heart To Feed – Quarticello Despina 2021 (£30)
A cloudy, fresh sparkling wine derived straight from Malvasia di Candia grapes, this tipple carries bubbling flavours of grapefruit and white flowers, with a slightly salty finish. It’s a heatwave staple that’s smooth and delightful when enjoyed alongside a tomato-based pasta dish or a light fish plate.
Flawd – Wine Marto, “Al Dente” Rheinhessen
A zesty and punchy red that’s to be served chilled straight from the fridge. You get all the summer berries in there, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries and raspberries, with nuances of the citrus of grapefruit and lime. It goes perfectly with salads, seafood, and strong mature cheeses.