We have wanted to try wine tasting for absolutely ages, but opportunities for wine tasting in Manchester come few and far between. Luckily, Joelle decided to go and try out a wine bar hidden away in Manchester City Centre, and I received a text from her to tell me they were offering a wine tasting session in a few weeks. WINNER.
Naturally, we jumped at the chance, and for £20 a pop, it turned out to be an absolute bargain as well as a really enjoyable night.
Salut Wines is gorgeous. Unfortunately there is some construction work going on outside which ruins the external beauty of the place, but the interior is perfectly matched to the ambiance.
Unfortunately we didn’t get to try out the brilliant system at Salut, which requires you to top up a card (anything from £10 upwards) and use the self-serve machines to select your wine of choice, including quantity. So you can literally have a drop of wine to see if you like it – very innovative and something I’ve never seen before.
Of course there was also the option to purchase a standard glass/bottle of wine/prosecco/champagne, as well as beers, ciders and coffees etc. as usual in a bar.
The wine tasting event itself was situated in the lounge on the balcony upstairs, which gave the event a private feel without being claustrophobic. It’s a nice space, and apart from a number of unfortunately placed pillars, suited the feel of the night entirely.
Jeremy, our wine expert and host for the evening was brilliant, and everything was set up with help from the Salut Wines team, for our arrival.
Despite the fact Jeremy reminded me ridiculously of my cousin (Jamie if you’re reading this, you have a twin) he was a great host and extremely knowledgeable. I won’t go into too much detail about each wine – rather the overall experience, but we began with a glass of pink fizz, which despite the disgusted looks on a number of people’s faces, we really enjoyed.
There were perhaps 15 people and us during the wine tasting, and a mix of nationalities which was also nice. It didn’t feel over or under-booked so it was a good sized group for the room we were in.
Jeremy took us on a journey with wines from all over the globe, including Australia, the US, Spain, Italy and France. We were given the opportunity to try three white wines and four red, while Jeremy gave us the history behind each, as well as an in depth description into each grape, and the geography of each wine.
He was also more than willing to answer an array of questions, and even took the time to answer our rather ridiculous question regarding the difference between each wine closure, while demonstrating each one and giving us the history behind each. The man was quite literally a wine genius.
The night was polished off with a gorgeous gin-based cocktail, which we were surprised but more than happy to receive. A number of people left rather quickly, without finishing their cocktails which was not only a little rude, but stupid, as cheese and biscuits were then bought out for everyone to enjoy. In this case, you snooze, you win.
We also got chatting to a member of staff from Salut Wines who had finished shift and joined us on the balcony for the majority of the evening.
His knowledge of wine was also ridiculously impressive, and he had just returned from a three-week tour of Italy, so spent the time chatting to us about his trip, while writing a rather lengthy list of wines for us to try.
All in all, the staff were fantastic, Jeremy was brilliant, and the night was an absolute hit for us. I really didn’t know what to expect from the evening, but we were pleasantly surprised, and I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to return for another evening – even if it did result in a slightly fuzzy head at work the next morning…