We all know that Manchester is full of food and drink lovers, with an abundance of festivals and tasting from Italian Food, Spanish Food, Cheeses, Gin and of course, the wonderful thing that is Wine.
I have to say that my passion for food and travel definitely covers all of these festivals, so to be invited along to a festival that is based on Wine, but also includes Gin, Cheese and Spanish delights was a total WIN.
The ‘Three Wine Men‘ consists of Oz Clarke, Tim Atkin and Olly Smith, who travel the country hosting wine tasting event in various towns and cities.
This years Manchester event had a change of venue, as previous events were held in the Town Hall, which is currently being refurbished. So it was in their new home of Manchester Central that I went to find out what was in store.
Inside the hall you were welcomed to large number of suppliers and distributors, all of whom were happy to show off their wares.
From small producers like Carmelita. A family run business ran by UK couple Nikki and James Codling who began producing wine in Argentina in 2007, and have since won 18 International awards. Their Malbec is beautiful and their Cabernet Franc, just irresistible.
Also in the hall were representatives from stores such as Spar and The Co-op, who were showing off the fact that you can pick up reasonable wines at reasonable prices from their stores. I’m really hoping my local Co-op will consider stocking these amazing Barolo and Amarone for example, if they did, I might actually start my wine shopping there.
Spanish wines were showcased and these were paired perfectly with the help of Lunya, who had ham and cheese on hand, to lift the tastings further.
And talking about cheese, it seems like a day can’t go past recently, without me having a taste of one of the beautiful Cheshire Cheese Companies produce, specifically my favourite Caramelised Onion and Rioja.
Another change this year was the fact that due to other commitments, Olly Smith couldn’t take part, so local wine expert Kate Goodman took his place – so not quite ‘Three Wine Men’. she also hosted a fabulous Port and Chocolate pairing masterclass.
Not a big fan of Ports, preferring a dry, full bodies red, this was a great opportunity to try out something that I wouldn’t usually go for. I have to say that the pairings were sublime, and for the first time I could see myself sipping a glass or two with some beautiful chocolates – however as Kate kept reminding us – A port is NOT just for Christmas!
And did I mention Gin?? Towards the end of the three-hour session, I managed to pop over and quickly try a gin or two – again hosting a selection of producers. They even had a Cheese to pair with those too!
The Three Wine Men was a fun-filled and informative day of wine, cheese, port and even cheese – if you missed out this year, then be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the 2019 dates so you can get planned for the next one.