26 Jan Start Your Own Wine Posse aka Club
If you want to see your friends more often, increase your knowledge and enjoyment of wine, then consider starting a monthly wine club. By the start if next year have much more to discuss when sampling the host’s wine selections. Here are the key steps to beginning your wine club:
- Choose your team wisely. In order to have a fun and successful club you’ll need to pick some friends and acquaintances (ideally 6-10) that love wine as much as you do or at least have the desire to learn Another consideration is budget. Each month you’ll want to have all members contribute to offset the costs of the wine. The good news is that pooling your financial resources means you can taste far more wines than you could afford to alone.
- Create a name and mission for your group. At the first organizational meeting have a celebratory glass of bubbly and brainstorm for creative names for the group. Are you the Syrah Sippers or possibly the Cabernet Cluster? It’s up to you! It is also good to decide on your mission. Is the goal to try some great wines and socialize or is it to expand your wine knowledge? To avoid issues later it is important that everyone starts out with the same expectations.
- Create a calendar of tastings for the coming year. Everyone should sign up to host one of the monthly meetings. The host would be responsible for purchasing the wines within the agreed upon budget. It probably makes sense to focus on wines within the $15-$40 range since that is where most people are comfortable. For the first meeting you may want to invite a wine educator or sommelier to instruct the group on the elements of tasting.
- Develop your wine source. Since you will likely be buying a good deal of wine over the coming year, it would be helpful to find a wine store to support you. Many stores have sales associates that are either certified wine professionals or avid wine enthusiasts who would be a great asset to selecting your wines. Ask if they have any discounts or materials to support your wine club in exchange for making them your “club” approved store.
- Conduct the Kickoff tasting! Key essentials needed at each meeting are wine glasses, spit or dump buckets, water to stay hydrated and a way for member to record their observations of each wine. Each member would bring an appetizer to be enjoyed after all wines are sampled. It is often helpful to limit the tastings to four to six wines and taste them blind. Blind tasting means the identity of each wine is kept hidden until all wines are sampled to avoid bias and preconceived notions.
- Keep a wine journal and take pictures. Each member would be wise to keep a wine notebook or journal to record their thoughts and preferences at each tasting. It helps to use a tasting sheet so everyone is using the same process. If you want to use wine score sheets email me at email@example.com for a free template.
A year from now you will have tasted 40-60 new wines and be celebrating your club’s first year anniversary. You’ll have increased your knowledge of wine, made closer connections with each other and be ready to take your club to the next level. Who knows maybe a club trip to France might be in order?