#ukwinehourlive – Manchester July 2017

sorcha john francesca

ukwinehourlive! Manchester 14th July 2017


The medieval Baronial Hall of Chetham’s Library was the magical setting for this summer’s ukwinehourlive in Manchester. It was lovely to see this historic venue filled with wine friends, old and new, enjoying a fantastic selection of wines. The atmosphere was captured beautifully by our photographer, Nick Kypriadis – see the gallery below.

Many of the regular participants of the weekly #ukwinehour chat made the effort to join us from all corners of the U.K., from Belfast to Plymouth, Glasgow to Cardiff. We were delighted to see lots of new faces, many of whom have become #ukwinehour regulars since! There was also a great turnout from journalists and bloggers from the Greater Manchester area, and I will share some of their posts with you at the end of this report. Twitter was buzzing with anticipation during the days before, as well as on the night and days following the event.


The event had two frontline sponsors – huge thanks to both of them, Lazenne Wine Luggage (@Lazenne_) and Avina Wine Accessories (@avinawinetools). Lazenne provided a fabulous prize of a Winecheck Elite, the winner to be drawn from the attendees on the night. The lucky winner was Lisa Harlow, who tweets as @lisawinetravel; I’m sure she’ll make great use of it on her wine travels!

It was a delight to have lovely wine writer Simon Woods there with his books, “The World’s Shortest Wine Book*…*maybe” and “I Don’t Know Much About Wine But I Know What I Like”. He was also the representative on the night for both Dourthe Bordeaux and California Wines. Simon wrote a little something about the experience too, thanks Simon! Here it is “How to Taste your Way Around A Baronial Hall“. Watch out for Simon’s new book, “101 Wine FAQs” – plus you can join Simon as our ukwinehour special guest on 7th December.

English Wine was once again represented at the event by one of our ukwinehour favourites, Exton Park Vineyard. Thank you for joining us, Kit! We heard lots of excellent feedback about your excellent sparkling wines. Champagne Deutz flew the flag for fizz from directly across the channel, and Diznoko Tokaji showed very well too, thank you Ben & Hamish from Gonzalez Byass. The scrumptious port wines of Quinta do Noval turned a few heads – or could that have been their charming companion Fiona? Those delicious tawnies are definitely on my wishlist now! 

Our most longstanding and loyal exhibitor, lovely Luca (@vinitalia1) from Vinitalia, showed the latest additions to the Vinitalia Portfolio. I was particularly delighted to see the Rainoldi Sassella Reserva which I tasted for the first time with Luca when he discovered it at the London Wine Fair earlier in the year. Thank you Luca for your ongoing support of ukwinehour. I can’t wait to see your new Ischian beauties at the November event!

The wide range of the Codorníu Group was exhibited with enthusiasm as always by our good friend Moises (@moisesalmenara). This time, in addition to the Codorníu Cava range, we explored Viña Pomal in more detail and were introduced to the Raimat range. A highlight for me was the stunning new Rioja Cava from Viña Pomal, a 100% Garnacha. If you get a chance, do try it. I’ve got one stashed for a rainy day – I’m sure I won’t have to wait too long for one of them. I am a huge fan of the Codorníu Group. They are doing so much to raise the profile of Cava and Spanish wine here in the UK, to the benefit of everyone. Such a hospitable group too, it’s always a joy to visit one of their wineries.

Majestic Wine also joined us in Manchester, their first time to showcase at ukwinehourlive. Our ukwinehour regular and occasional host, Andrij (@ajurkiw), did a great job in coordinating, but on the day was unable to join us due to the early arrival of his new baby son! Congratulations to Andrij & Rachel on the new arrival, the first #ukwinehour baby! Fortunately his Majestic colleagues Nicola and Prashanth did a great job showing wines from the Lay & Wheeler and Definition ranges, which were popular with all the attendees. 

I think a few of us became quite fond of the cow bell on the Alpine Wines table – Rocket scientist Joelle gives a great demonstration on how to ring it. Make sure you try it next time! Joelle showed a fantastic range of wines, but as always her white merlot stole the show.

It was lovely to welcome ukwinehour regulars Laura & Erik (@LauraWBurgess and @TheWhiskyKiwi) to their first ukwinehourlive, representing the wines of Montilla Moriles (@MMWinesUK). Erik and Laura have done so much to raise the profile of Montilla Moriles wines here in the UK, and what great wines they showed. Hopefully we might get another chance at a future #ukwinehourlive event.

Reserve Wines was represented by the charming yet cheeky Nic (@OfMustAndMash) – it was really good of you to join us on Bastille Day, Nic! Julia from Just Perfect Wines brought some Prosecco, always popular at an event like this.

The fine wine importer Maisons Marques et Domaines, of the Louis Roederer group, supplied some fine examples from their portfolio with big names such as Marchesi Mazzei, Domaines Schlumberger, Castiglion del Bosco, Pio Cesare L’Altro Chardonnay, Meerlust and Tommasi. Unsurprisingly I heard fantastic feedback on these wines. Brand manager Effi was unfortunately unable to join us at short notice, but we hope you will have the pleasure of meeting her another time. We were delighted to have MMD participating in their first ukwinehourlive and hope to see them again soon.

Les Dauphins sent some ever-popular Côtes du Rhone Village, but since it was Bastille Day had other engagements so were unable to attend in person.

Cracking Wine Company‘s Janet joined us for the evening to promote her “The Fizz Festival” events in Cheshire and Yorkshire. Janet kindly raffled a year’s membership of The Fizz Club, which was won by ukwinehour regular Carrie. Thank you Janet for this added extra to the evening!

Snacks for the evening were provided by Ten Acre Snacks – thank you so much for helping to soak up the wine! They were certainly well-received on the night.

Information on wine education from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust was also available on the evening. Hopefully some of the attendees will be encouraged to pursue WSET qualifications in the future. It was nice to meet Lisa, a WSET approved provider, from Manchester Wine School.

I would like to thank everyone who attended this fun live tweet-up event in Manchester, from consumers to exhibitors, and especially to those who shared tweets and blog posts about their experience. A very personal thank you from myself to my right hand man and woman, John Mobbs (@john_mobbs and @GreatBritWine) and Francesca Gaffey (@FrancescaGaffey) who were such a great help and support before and during the event. I couldn’t have managed without you! Hugs!

Tickets are now on sale for our next event – we’re back in London at the University Women’s Club in Mayfair on the 24th November, 3-9pm. Hope to see you there! Here’s the link for tickets!

Other posts on the event:

From Hodge Podge Days hodgepodgedays.co.uk/drink/uk-wine-hour-manchester/

From Taste Today tastetoday.co.uk/category/community/ukwinehourlive-tasting-at-chethams-library.html

From Simon Woods (also above) archive.aweber.com/mainlistsw/HopI4/h/How_To_Taste_Your_Way_Around_A.htm

Manchester Evening News print edition only 22nd July

Thank you all for your kind words, it makes it so worthwhile! I hope you will be able to join us in London in November.




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