We Drink at....Hanging Ditch Wines

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What happens when you take two people who love wine, who have 30 years between them in the wine trade and who believe wine should be accessible? You get the exquisite find that is, Hanging Ditch wines.
Located round the back of Harvey Nics in Manchester, right next to the gothic splendour of the cathedral; Hanging Ditch is a quirky little independent, named after the area of Manchester where they hung people (lovely) and is one of Manchester’s best known secrets on the drinking scene. Steadily gaining popularity, especially as you can drink wines by the glass or any of the bottles they sell in the shop whilst you’re there, and the wine they serve is actually drinkable - unlike a large majority of the places in city centre Manchester.

It’s a small space brimming with bottles, but the large glass windows open up the space; even if it’s a crush with more than ten people! Luckily they have plenty of pavement tables that allow you to feel pretty continental – even if the weather in Manchester is set to perma-drizzle and the view is somewhat city centre urban.  Each wine sold at Hanging Ditch has been carefully selected, tasted and decided on by the staff themselves; this ensures that all the wines taste great and that the quality is always top notch. It also makes sure that every member of staff knows everything about every bottle in the shop. You’d think this would make them unapproachable, but in fact all the staff are friendly, open and genuinely want you to get the best out of the wine – their passion and dedication shines through when you get them talking.
Hanging Ditch’s ethos is that wine, just like their staff, should be accessible; wines aren’t grouped into regions or grapes (which can be confusing for those who don’t know their Malbec from their Merlot); instead there’s categories such as ‘light and fruity’ or ‘easy drinking reds.’ However to get the best out of Hanging Ditch, skip looking at the labels and go straight to the staff. Tell them exactly what your budget is, what you want the wine for and what situation you’re going to be drinking it in and they’ll find the perfect match every time. Asking the staff also means you get to try bottles you didn’t know were there and grapes/styles you didn’t know existed. As all the staff have tasted and know about every bottle; you’ll also get hints, tips and stories that liven up the experience and mean you sound like a bit of pro when you whip the bottle out at the party you go to afterwards.

Hanging Ditch wines also stock a good selection of ports and sherries, so there’s something for after dinner too. Just be careful; there’s so much good stuff on offer that it’s easy to come away having spent your entire week’s eating budget. But who needs food when you’ve got such a good bottle to drink – grapes are one of your five a day, right?

Hanging Ditch Wines, Britannic Buildings, 42-44 Victoria Street, Manchester M3 1ST, 0161 832 8222  www.hangingditch.com