A lot of people owe Kate Goodman a debt of gratitude. A fan of fine wines, 20 years ago she set up Reserve with a mission: to offer exceptional bottles to the good folk of West Didsbury and nearby areas, while also looking to demystify and make the process of exploring, tasting, and buying great vin more accessible and less intimidating. After two decades at it, to say the idea has proven successful would be an understatement, with the small but perfectly formed — and incredibly well-stocked — Burton Road address now drawing in viticulture enthusiasts from far and wide.
Located in the heart of the neighbourhood, when customers arrive the first thing that usually hits them, before what’s on the shelves, is the laidback and highly approachable air that pervades the place. The operation is run by a group of friends whose relationships have been formed through the shared appreciation of drinking great drinks, less so the attitude that can sometimes come with, and they go out of their way to break down barriers and make this world open to more people. This counts for the price, too, with the buyers focused on providing affordability without sacrificing a centilitre of quality.
Although the emphasis has always been on introducing people to great bottles for them to take home and savour, Reserve also has its own drink-in offering for those who prefer to hang out for a while. In total, more than 500 individual wines are available, including eco-friendly refillable kegs. Tuesday to Thursday you can enjoy two glasses of mystery wine on-site for £14, and any day of the week pick from locally sourced aperitifs such as British and Irish cheeses, and vegan bites. Regular tastings are a big part of the programme, as are masterclasses with select winemakers. Finally, a tasting room, refurbished in 2023, is available for private hire with a capacity of 16 for business meetings, private parties and anything remotely celebratory.