Independent wine shops have had something of a renaissance over the past few years and Greater Manchester has a barrel load of brilliant ones. Way more fun than the supermarkets, the best wine shops in Manchester have loads of interesting wines you can’t get elsewhere and a team of friendly expert staff on hand to gently guide you through the options and find the right bottle. And they’re not all stuffy and spenny, today’s wine shops are unpretentious and offer loads of inexpensive options, with plenty of opportunity to taste before you buy too.
Most of these small wine merchants offer regular tasting events, so a visit to one of them counts as an educational journey, not just a piss up, honest. They often double as bars and sometimes even restaurants, making them the ideal night out especially if you want to take the best kind of goody bag home with you afterwards.
Whether you’re wanting to fill up your own wine rack with South American bargains, on a mission to find your dad an affordable bottle of something Spanish and oaky, or just curious to see what natural wine is all about, Manchester has a wine shop for you.
Here’s our guide to the very best of Manchester’s indie wine shops. Corkers, one and all.
A relatively new addition to Manchester’s wine scene, Ad Hoc opened in late 2021 and has been keeping residents and visitors to Manchester’s Northern Quarter happily drenched in grape juice ever since. The shop sits on Edge Street and makes for a calm respite from the street party style trestle table seating outside. Pop in for a couple of bottles to take home or grab one of the rotating wines by the (really nice) glass. The range covers natural and biodynamic wines as well as more conventional bottles and with a little help from the in house wine experts, you can’t go wrong. You’ll find an interesting collection of beers and spirits too and a lot of it is available to order online for delivery or collection.
Another Heart to Feed
Sometimes you want to buy some wine to take home but you’re also hangry and need a big breakfast to put you on for the day. Step in Another Heart To Feed, a Melbourne-inspired cafe with branches in the NQ and Didsbury serving great coffee, solid lunch options and a brunch menu heavy on the oozing yolk money shots that litter foodie socials. It also has a bijou range of hand picked, mostly natural wines that you can buy to take home – or drink in, it’s open seven days a week. The range of wines here are like a Dulux chart of autumn colours with every shade of red, pink, orange and yellow represented in the glass.
A lot of the wines shops on our list have places to pull up a chair and have a glass outside when the weather permits but The Beeswing wins on the terrace front with a sun trap of dreams over on the roof of the Kampus development near Canal Street. A relative newcomer to bricks n mortar, resident somm Anna Tutton has been around on the pop up scene for some time though. Anna’s “wine caravan” used to pop up at festivals and you might also know her for her dinky wine bar Vin-Yard when it was at Hatch. The wine offering here is bijou by design with only the best bottles making the cut as Anna painstakingly tests them all. Natural wine features but the list covers all bases with one special rosé dedicated to her pa as it was his fave. With a kaleidoscope of small plates from co-owner/chef Joe Maddock, you might end up making a long afternoon of it even if you were planning on just just nipping in for a takeaway bottle. Keep an eye on Insta for a different wine suggestion every week.
Blossom Street Social
Seasoned winos will have fond memories of the now sadly closed Hanging Ditch wine shop in Cathedral Gardens with its towering wall of wine. Blossom Street Social over in Ancoats comes from the same swirl-savvy team so of course in makes our list of the best wine shops in Manchester. Also acting as a wine bar with a neighbourhood focus and constant stream of music and art events, Blossom Street Social has a similarly vertiginous wine wall with some seriously posh bottles available as well as more of your Wednesday wines and a smattering of natty. Rotating food pop ups make it dining destination on occasion and there is plenty of opportunity to try a few glasses and enjoy the laidback surroundings in Manchester cit centre’s most desirable neighbourhood.
Butcher’s Quarter / BQ Farm & Fish
A decent steak and a glass of red wine is a classic combo up there with Lennon and McCartney and er, Emma D’arcy and a Sbagliato. So if you were thinking the butchers is not the first place you’d look for a nice bottle, think again. The meat maestros at The Butcher’s Quarter also know a thing or two about wine. You’ll find a small but expertly chosen range of wines at their Tib St store and their Monton outpost Farm & Fish so you can grab a Rioja with your rib eye or a Muscadet with your mussels without having the traipse all over the show.
With 30 years of experience building relationships with growers, breweries and producers worldwide, the team at Carringtons are the safe hands you need to hold you when searching for that perfect bottle for your Burgundy-besotted boss or your Provence-potty auntie. You’ll find 30-odd year old bottles here that price up into the hundreds or even thousands (yes, per bottle) but you’ll also plenty of fruity little numbers sitting around the 10 to 12 quid mark. Pop in or buy online.
Cork of the North
Another super down to earth wine shop and bar (and probably the best named one on our list), Cork of the North has two outposts in the swish suburbs of Heaton Moor and Sale. You’ll find a massive wall of wine in each, with friendly staff on hand to help you navigate from Amarone to Zibbibo unscathed. Most bottles here are sourced from smaller producers so there’s plenty you won’t find in your supermarket or other wine shops. There is also a huge selection available to try by the glass with a seasonally rotating selection so you’ll be on first name terms with the in house faves before you know it. Want to learn even more? Owner Marc and his daughter Jodie host mega-popular tastings with cheese, book early to avoid disappointment on those. COTN also delivers really quickly within the local area, kinda like a fourth emergency service.
Some of the best wine shops in Manchester are focused on the wine of just one country. Evuna is well-known for its superior tapas menu at dinky restaurants from the NQ to Knutsford but did you know you can also buy take-out from their truly excellent Spanish wines selection? It’s always nice to be niche and the team here is focused on wine from their homeland only, so you’ll find an excellent collection of Cava, Rioja and sherry as well as some delicious Albariños and more. Not too familiar with Spanish wine? Their selection of pre-picked wine cases are a good place to start your cork-camino or pop in for some patatas bravas and try a few by the glass to help you choose a bottle to take home.
The city centre is all about natural wine shops at the moment, and Flawd is one of that bunch. New to natty? The team here is very keen to impart their knowledge of the natural wine world, just grab one of them and they will help you to navigate their heaving shelves. This wine bar is also a perfect place to taste, pull up a stool and sip whatever’s on by the glass that day, it changes all the time so repeat visits will have you chalking up a few faves in no time. We can’t talk about Flawd without mentioning the food though, Joseph Otway has made a splash in the city in just a few short years by being at the helm at some of Manchester’s most forward thinking restaurants the veg-forward (via Cinderwood) small plates coming out of Flawd’s minscule kitchen are no exception. Don’t believe us? Times food critic Marina O Loughlin can confirm.
Grape to Grain
Born in Prestwich in 2016 with a Ramsbottom shop coming a year later, Grape To Grain is a modern ‘off license with a difference’ stocking exciting and rare wines from hip small batch producers as well as reliable classics and a good range of spirits and beers. Tastings are a big part of the draw here, with a down to earth (and often quite sweary) approach making them really accessible and fun. You can buy bottles to take away or pull up a stool and have a glass or two with some deli nibbles – or you can order online for nationwide delivery. Fun fact: Grape To Grain’s online store also delivers dead nice cheese. So that’s two of your Xmas essentials covered in one stop.
OK, OK, it’s not an independent but the top floor at Harvey Nicks is well worth a visit for its range of booze in general, especially if the plan is to treat someone you love to something too fancy for the everyday. Where HN shines is in the gift box department, with all sorts of boxed gifts, limited editions and rare finds that will have any gifting requirements sorted faster than you can say Australian Gewürztraminer. If you can tear yourself away from the spirits, you’ll find some lovely wine gifts too, many of which come packaged with top tier wine glasses from Jancis Robinson approved Riedel.
Another from the natty wine crew, Isca’s co-owner Caroline Dubois has the distinction of being the cork dork behind Where The Light Gets In’s wine list when it first opened back in 2016. Caroline was one of the first to bring natural wine to Manchester menus and probably spent a large chunk of her time explaining that orange wine isn’t actually made from oranges. A few years later, Caroline opened Isca in Levenshulme with her pal Isabel Jenkins of Seasons Eating supper club fame, and the natural wine came with. This cute, understated neighbourhood venue is one of the modern gems of Stockport Rd and you should definitely pop in for food but you should equally grab a bottle or two from the wine shelves if you’re in the area. The friendly team are always on hand to help you choose.
One of the newest wine shops on our list, Juicebox opened in October 2022 as the latest vinous addition to Didsbury village and then in Manchester city centre in summer 2023. Bang on trend, this is another venue that’s all about natural wines and craft beer with some pretty tasty interiors too. You can nip in for a pretty-labelled bottle or two to take home or linger over a juicy glass of Barbera and a bowl of crisps topped with sour cream and caviar. Tastings are planned for 2023 so keep an eye on socials. There’s also a same day delivery bicycle courier service if you live local. Dangerous.
Enjoy drinking wine in what looks like an upmarket clothing or tech store? Kerb’s futuristic looking curved wine racks and minimalist, white on white decor might be right up your avenue. This natural wine bar on Henry Street just off Cutting Room Square in Ancoats is hyper modern and achingly hip, it even has its own dayglo natty wine zine FFS. But it’s not just sleek interiors, trendy bottles and merch, the Kerb team are keen to share their knowledge so there’s a casual tasting every Thursday and lots of niche party nights focusing on a specific type of wine (think Beaujolais, Txakoli or pet nat) as well as the occasional art exhibition.
The best wine shops in Manchester aren’t just in the city centre or its trendiest suburbs. Up n coming Urmston has lots to love about it, with an impressive cluster of craft beer-heavy bars, cake shops and some very decent restaurants all nudging up the house prices of late. It also has one of the best wine shops in our region, Kelder Wines, which has been a bit of a locals secret since it opened in 2017 but is well worth hopping on a train for. Ex-microbiologist Fred Davids opened the shop with the aim of making it a key part of the local community, so you can drop in for a bit of cheese and charcuterie to try a glass or two, or you can dive deeper into the glass at wine fairs and tastings or by joining their monthly box scheme. Of course, it’s a shop too, and if you want to just take home a clinking tote bag of bottles and snacks, you certainly can – if you’re lucky they’ll throw the tote bag in for free.
Based in an old bank in the centre of Bury, the concept for Kwoff was dreamed up on a trip to Tuscany where the warmth and enthusiasm of a local restaurateur inspired Kwoff’s co-founder David Jones to sell wine differently back home. He wanted to find that sweet spot between stuffy snobbery and discount booze shops with the focus more on a passion for beautifully crafted wine and sharing his finds with customers. David and his team say they don’t want to bamboozle customers with talk of vintages and providence, they just want to help you find a cracking bottle of wine to er, kwoff. The website is really extensive (and is giving emo clothing store vibes) with hundreds of bottles available by the case or bottle and craft beer, spirits and some very nice glassware too.
Ol’s Bier & More
It might be called Ol’s Bier & More but the “more” bit includes a really special few shelves of wine. Owner Shaun Bishop (who named this dog-friendly family business after his son), is hugely passionate about good booze and a helpful font of wine knowledge. You’ll find everything from French big hitters to Italian sparklers and a few funky skin contacts. While you’re at it, it’ll be difficult to resist adding a few cans of craft ale and a bottle of locally made rum to your stash. Another reason to jump on the train to Stalybridge then.
Manchester’s self-coined first French deli, Petit Paris opened right at the end of 2023 – just before Xmas. This mini marché on King Street sells all things Parisienne, so think Spar but with pretty tinned thé vert and air dried saucisson seche as opposed to packets of PG Tips and a Peperami. There are buttery biscuits (or bis-KWEE), dried herbes de Provence and jars of foie gras (exactly like the contents of our cupboards at home, right?). But never mind all that, oú est le flippin vin? There’s very little debate that the benchmark for all things vinous is France, so of course Petit Paris Deli is packing the good stuff. A bit rusty on your GCSE French? Revise your ABCs here, that’s Alsace, Burgundy and Champagne of course – they stock French wine and French wine only. There is, naturally, a fridge full of beautifully stinky fromage too.
This one’s been around since the eighties so it could probably show all those new natty wine scamps a thing or two. Portland Wines is your comforting classic wine shop with a burgundy painted shop front, chalkboard tasting notes and shelves piled high with all the wine, spirits and beer you could possibly need. With several outlets including ones in Hale, Sale and Marple Bridge, you can park yourself at a table inside or out to try a few wines out or just grab and go with the help of the super knowledgable staff. At Xmas, you’ll find specially selected box sets complete with tasting notes from the team but they’re on hand all year round to help you pick the perfect bottle. There are regular tasting events and wine fairs too.
Kate Goodman of BBC2’s Food & Drink Show opened Reserve Wines in Didsbury in 2003 – and you can find baby versions at Mackie Mayor and Alty market now too. Kate’s plan was to make wine fun and accessible and with 20 years now under its belt, this wine shop has continued to move with the times. A recent glow up paint job and a range of their own canned wines are just a couple of ways they are keeping things current. Reserve has long been landing on ‘best wine shops in Manchester’ round ups for good reason. Order online or pop in for a chat and/or a taste in the capable hands of the team of wine experts or get involved with one of their regular tastings. If you like reading about wine there is also an ‘award winning’ blog on the Reserve website.
This corner wine bar and shop is a firm favourite with Manchester hospitality types and can be tough to walk past on your way to the trams at St Peter’s Square. Salut was one of the first places in Manchester city centre to introduce the concept of a wine dispenser machine that you can use as a tasting library to sample a sip, a bigger slurp or a glass. If you’re a less committed oenophile, you can just buy something from the extensive ‘by the glass’ menu or grab a bottle and a cheeseboard and settle in for the long haul. Of course you can also choose a few from the hundreds of bottles on the shelves (or online) to take home and if you’re overwhelmed by options, the team are on hand to aid and abet. There are regular in-house tasting events, serious wine courses and wine fairs here too.
Sip is a West Didsbury wine bar and restaurant that has made itself a firm favourite in the years since it opened in 2017. Owner Nick Yates has Oddbins, Boutinot, Bibendum and more on his almost 30-year strong CV so you can be sure he knows his way around a tasting note. There is an enormous 30 wines usually available by the glass or from the tasting machine and a bigger food offering than your average wine bar with a focus on kicking back and lingering awhile. Events are a big part of the blend here, think quizzes and themed tastings. Local delivery is available, just drop them a DM to sort it.
Going strong now for almost a decade, Chorlton’s indie wine shop Tiny’s was dreamed up by a pair of Oddbins employees wanting to shake off the chains and do their own thing. This is another wholesome neighbourhood bottle shop that does local delivery by bike and has a strong emphasis on being approachable and enthusiastic to help find you the perfect wine(s). There’s a packed events calendar here with country-focused tastings with appropriate nibbles (think German wines with pretzels), seasonal knees ups and not just wine but beer tastings too. An evening of natural wine and “spontaneous beer” anyone?
Ramsbottom has an almost unfair amount of good restaurants, bars and shops for such a titchy town so its lucky locals are well catered for. But it makes it a great destination for a day out too – not least to attempt the (relatively easy) climb up Holcombe Hill and enjoy one of the best views you can get of Greater Manchester. It also has one of the best wine shops in Manchester. The Vineyard and its excellent selection of wines should be on your shopping list if you’re having a wander. Events are community driven, often teaming up with local restaurants for wine tastings with dinner on various evenings throughout the year.
A semi in Monton is on a lot of people’s dream home list at the moment and that’s in part down to indie ventures like Wandering Palate who have worked hard to bring something fresh and modern to the main road. Owners Emma and Will have a sincere focus on community building and are drawing people in not just for the spectacular wine and cheese on sale but also for the glam little cocktail bar upstairs that hosts arty events including life drawing classes and exhibitions from local artists throughout the year. But this is a wine round up, so let’s stay focused on the walls of wine with a heavy lean towards all things natural and biodynamic. Join the monthly wine club to explore the range at a slightly discounted rate. The team are really active on socials so give them a follow to see them talk you through their range.
Wine and Wallop
With bars in Didsbury, Prestwich and Knutsford, Wine & Wallop (that’s another word for beer btw) has all bases covered. With more of a bar and food focus, these venues offer everything from brunch to Sunday roast with a wide selection of wines to drink in that also have a take home price. On Tuesdays you can drink in for the take home price too. These wine bars are hefty in size and have function rooms to hire which host all sorts of in-house events too including tastings, quizzes and pop up shops. Keep an eye on socials for all the winer details.
Probably the smallest wine shop on our list but still one of the best wine shops in Manchester. Wine Boy is a dinky stall in Stockport Market selling mostly natural, low intervention and biodynamic wines. Pop in for a pound of tripe, a pack of those fuzzy stripey socks and pick up a bottle of pet nat on your way out. Stockport, you have changed and we are here for it. Seriously though, if you’re after natty in Stockport (maybe Where The Light Gets In tipped you off) and want a natter to someone in the know, Wine Boy’s Mark Gough is your man with a vin. DM him for delivery.
If you’re looking for character and old school charm, look no further than the Oldham classic, Winos which is kinda like the Black Books of wine shops. Established over 40 years ago, fans of dusty old bottles will be in their element here and it’s unlikely to be somewhere you’d make a flying visit as you’re going to want a good old rummage – good job there’s a car park round the back then. The interior is about as far removed as you can get from the minimalism of places like Kerb, with boxes, crates and papers piled high in every corner. They don’t make em like this any more.
Of course there’s a wine bar in the “posh bit” of Salford. Worsley Stores is an intimate, low lit neighbourhood bar, all navy walls and gnarly wooden tables, that has been keeping locals on the right side of sozzled since December 2020. It’s also a “larder store” selling all sorts of wonderful cheese, weird crisps and wacky backy (ok not that last one, soz). It looks like a Dickensian sweet shop from the outside, with mullion windows that we can just imagine are all frosted up around the edges as we write this in deepest winter, with the warm glow of wine beckoning you inside. Tasting events include a game show style “What’s That Grape?” one and a slightly more sensible Xmas Champagne one. A champion little gaff in leafy Worsley, this one.