What's better than gathering together with friends and having a glass of wine? Nothing. That's why we think you should start a wine club! There's no one right way to start a wine club. Your wine club can be whatever you want it to be, but here's some tips and fun ideas as well as some steps to get you started.
1. Choose how often you want to meet - decide what kind of time commitment you can put in. Maybe your group wants to meet twice a month or once a month or every other month. Pick something realistic, you can always add impromptu additional times in between your regular gatherings.
2. Choose your group - pick how big you want your wine club to be and what type of folks you want to attend. Maybe you want to make it a girls night activity, or maybe you want to gather with other couples. Maybe you want to gather with just a couple friends, or maybe you believe the more the merrier!
3. Decide on the atmosphere you want - this might seem like a strange step, but it can be a very important one. Have you ever been to a book club where some people only want to talk book and others are there to socialize? It never really works out. Decide how you want the feel of your gathers to go and opt for friends with similar tastes.
4. Decide who will host - it's good to set ground rules right off the bat so no one gets confused or overwhelmed. Will you host every time? Will it rotate homes? Does the host purchase the food? Does everyone bring food? Decide these things ahead of time so things run more smoothly.
5. Pick one form of communication and stick to it - when getting a group together on a regular basis, it can be hard to coordinate. One friend might have a babysitting emergency and have to cancel. Another friend might get the flu and you have to switch venues. A lot of things happen in our lives, so keep it easy for people by having one main form of communication. We suggest starting a private Facebook group where members can share club related news, communicate with one another and find all the event details. Another option is group text or chat.
6. Decide what type of wine club you want to be - this is where things get fun! There are tons of different types of wine clubs out there, which kind will you be? Here are the 4 most popular types we've come across. Try one of these or make up your own!
1. Blind Taste Testing Wine Club: each guest brings a bottle of wine with the label covered. Each bottle is numbered and guests are given a sheet to score the wines on. You can find a FREE printable scorecard at the bottom of this post. If you have more than 6 wines being tasted, give each guest two sheets and do them in flights of 6 with a break in between to cleanse the palette. Have guests rank the wine, write a word that describes it and guess which varietal it is. This style of club works best by doing one kind of wine each gathering (red, white, rose, etc.) This type of gathering is best for guests who truly enjoy wine, different kinds of wine.
2. Casual Wine Club: this type of wine club is probably the simplest and easiest to do with a variety of people. Simple have everyone bring their favorite wine or a new wine they want to try. Either have the guests bring snacks or have the host provide snacks. Open several of the bottles of wine and allow guests to try whichever ones they want. This type of gathering is great for friends to get together, chat and try a new wine.
3. Themed Wine Club: a themed wine club can really be done in any manner. You can use scoresheets or you can do it casually. The idea behind a themed club is that each gathering has a theme. Some theme ideas include: wines from a certain country or region, wines all from the same decade, wines older than x years, wines with funny names, wines all from the same winemaker, or wines all from the same year. Themed parties can be fun and there are tons of themes you can do!
4. Bring One Take One: a bring one take one wine style club can be combined with any of the ones mentioned previously and allows for guests to potentially find a new favorite wine. Have each guest bring two bottles of the same wine. Open only one and leave the others unopened. At the end of the night, each guest takes home the unopened bottle of their favorite wine.
Well, we think you're all set to start hosting your own wine club! Wine club gatherings should be fun and safe, so don't let your guests drink and drive and always offer non-alcoholic options for designated drivers or those who choose not to partake.
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