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Monday, 28 October 2013

Didsbury Lounge: Impressive Wine List, Tasty Rice Balls AND Close to Home

In recent months, I'm afraid I have been a shamefully poor Didsbury resident. The village has just seemed less interesting of late, with fewer nice places to go - and whilst I love the Fletcher Moss with all my heart, sometimes you just fancy going somewhere you won't bring the average age of the clientele down by thirty years or so. As a result, I've been taking full advantage of the Metrolink and heading to Chorlton or Manchester, eschewing the delights on my own doorstep.

So when Didsbury Lounge invited a few bloggers in for a wine tasting evening, it seemed like a good opportunity to try out somewhere I had heard good things about but never really been, apart from a quick drink one night after work. The venue is one of those slightly unpromising long, thin spaces - but to be fair, they've done a pretty good job with it: the glass-roofed atrium makes it feel light and spacious, and the spiral staircase is beautiful - even if a trip upstairs to the loo after a few glasses of wine is a little (a LOT) on the dangerous side.

The wine tasting was hosted by Noel Reid, the wine and spirits manager at Robinsons (there's a dream job if ever there was one) and a winning combination of being very knowledgeable about wine AND very generous when pouring samples. Didsbury Lounge prides itself on its high quality wine list, and let us try eight different wines plus their house Prosecco, looking for feedback on what should make the cut from the following selection:

Frederico Pinot Grigio Collezione
Finca Los Alijares Viognier
Verdicchio Dei Castello Di Jesi Manciano Bonci
Sancerre Blanc Serge Laloue
Durius Reserve Syrah 2007
Rolling Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot
Tiasta Malbec Reserve
Casarena Single Vineyard Perdriel Malbec
Montelvini Asolo Prosecco Millesimato Extra Dry

Of the whites, the Viognier and Sancerre were by far my favourites; I would buy both of these - and indeed, the excellent Sancerre is already on the wine list, priced at £30. I enjoyed all of the reds, particularly the Spanish Syrah, which is also already available at Didsbury Lounge priced at a ridiculous £24.50 - go and buy this please, as I want it to stay on the list. Finally, the Prosecco is excellent, and is available in family-sized magnum bottles for just £25 on Saturdays - the reason why my diary now has DIDSBURY LOUNGE crayoned in every weekend for the forseeable future.

We also tried some of the food, with platters of some of the most popular items from the Grazing Menu. Food bloggers are never very good at sharing ANYTHING, and there was almost an unseemly scuffle over the last Sticky Rice Ball and the final Falafal - these were both pretty perfect examples of their ilk, and I'd be quite tempted to just order a vast dish of these two items on my next visit. Because there will, without doubt, be a next visit - a great local bar with classy wines, interesting food, lovely staff...and just a few minutes from my house. Didsbury, I re-embrace you - if you'll have me back?

- Didsbury Lounge is at 43 Barlow Moor Road, Didsbury, M20 6TW (opposite Emmanuel Church); tel 0161 434 2408.

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