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Cooperative Store wines

Philip Hamer is impressed by the wine bargains at Manchester’s new Coop store

Published on September 26th 2007.

Cooperative Store wines

For some years now the Coop has impressed with a small but interesting selection of wines. Its recently opened retail outlet on Corporation Street is currently showcasing these.

The selection may be small but there is more variety than in supermarkets twice the size. Organic wines are more frequently seen at the Coop than in many other outlets because of the long-established ‘ethical’ policies of the company. What is particularly welcome are the well-written and informative labels on the backs of the bottles.

Argentina has been jinxed twice in trying to bring attention to its wines. The Falklands War ruined their UK launch 25 years ago and then a later re-launch in London was abandoned mid-afternoon on 11 September 2001. But the Coop has stuck by Argentina, one of the world’s most prolific and under-rated wine producers. It has the superb Misterio Malbec 2006 from the Flichman vineyard and at £4.99 which would put to shame many wines twice the price. Malbec is a red wine grape added to other grape varities in Bordeaux to create claret but Argentina makes excellent examples of 100% Malbec.

Spain’s Terra Sana Tempranillo at the ludicrously low price of £2.99 is a lovely fruity example of how marvellous the grape variety that makes Rioja can be when grown carefully outside that region. This is organically made and comes from the Toro wine area. The Berberana Reserva 2003 is a brilliant example of a truly lovely Rioja and at £4.99 is on special offer at half price. Berberana has been in the forefront of the recent resurgence of Rioja.

Spain also provides a brilliant white wine bargain with Viña Sol 2006 from the highly reputed Torres family vineyard near Barcelona for £3.99. Too rarely these days does a punter see a decent German Reisling anywhere but for £7.49 you can pick up the Reichsgraf von Kessel Kabinett 2004. Exhibiting a floral piquancy leavened by a mineral steeliness it is a wine perfect for Oriental food.

Good pudding wines are also rare and the half bottle of Monbazillac from Chateau de Hut Raully at the ludicrously low price of £4.79 is a real discovery. Monbazillac is a small unfashionable wine area south of Bordeaux producing slightly lighter versions of Sauternes and is lovely with a fruity dessert.

This place, next to the Cooperative Bank and opposite Urbis, is worth a visit if you like reasonably priced wines offering something a little unusual. The Manchester company has done well.

The Cooperative Store
Corporation Street

Mon-Thu 6am-10pm,
Fri-Sat 6am- midnight,
Sun 8am-10pm.

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8 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

GordoSeptember 26th 2007.

Nice one Phil, I am going to try your selctions on Sunday, will let you know how good a pundit you are.

AndySeptember 26th 2007.

They shut the Co Op at Talke Pits; I miss it!

AnonymousSeptember 26th 2007.

No wind up....they're fantastic. And check out your local Didsbury store in a few weeks as it's due to be refitted!

MajidSeptember 26th 2007.

Yeah switch to CO-OP and stop TESCO expanding any further destroying our land and communities with their aggressive expansion policies bulldozing their greedy way to the top slot yet again...if i have to buy there i buy the whoops! stuff only hehhehehrather buy CO-OP fairtrade stuff anyway as it keeps the foreigners in their own lands too and gives them a semi decent wage which in turn saves our nation money in benefits we dont have to give them to come here!! sound economics all round!

NickSeptember 26th 2007.

Am I being wound up here? The Co-op is the the biggest bunch of charlatons I have ever met in my life .I had the good fortune to meet a chap who kidnapped the chairmans wife in the late 60s- George Carmen got him off - the scum who run it should swing-try the one in Didsbury -loose your will to live!

BenSeptember 26th 2007.

My great Aunt tipped me the wink a few years ago about Co-op wines. Apparently the woman who heads up their buying team has been assiduously courted by the big 4 + M&S and Waitrose but has been happy to stay put. They're particularly strong competing with wines (new and old world) that would normally sell at between £6 - £9 a bottle. I've been enjoying their wines since about 2003 and can happily say that in the vast majority of cases their own brand stuff beats similar stuff from "name" producers. And at £2-£3 a bottle less as well. I've used them less since I moved away from my local store, but I'll be down Corporation street in the next couple of days to stock up!

Steve CSeptember 26th 2007.

Also, don't overlook the beer section! (OK, possibly not the first destination for many ManCon-ers). But the Co-op's enlightened sourcing policy also stretches to a none-too-extensive, but well-picked range of 'real ales in a bottle' (just as you'd buy in the pub through a handpump, bottled with live yeast to keep fermenting in the bottle for a fresher taste).The own-label Co-op Gold Medal Ale and a honey ale (I forget the exact name this one trades under but it's in a bottle with an attractive yellow label) are both brewed by an ex-Manchester brewer no less! Don Burgess of the Freeminer Brewery in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, cut his brewing teeth at the old Flea & Firkin before setting up his own full-scale craft brewery. If that's not a good excuse for Mancunians to seek out and drink these fine beers, I don't know what is! Oh, and they do taste damn good.

Martyn H MorganAugust 13th 2010.

There is a half price offer as at 13/08/2010 on a lovely organic rose called Marques de Calatrava from La Mancha Spain. Can really recommend it served well chilled. I got a couple of bottles at the Woodsend store yesterday

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