Do you like wine, do you buy wine, do you drink wine with friends? If yes, you should start a wine tasting club. Chances are you are in a book club or know someone closely who is in a book club. A wine club is similar in many respects, but much more fun. This article will tell you the amazing benefits of a wine tasting club and how to get one started.
Why a Wine Tasting Club Matters
- Wine is a constant learning experience. A wine club will accelerate your wine education.
- You will taste wines from far and wide and many different varieties of wine. Varieties of wine you’ve never heard before.
- You will become a better wine shopper, saving money and time on wine
- Your wine tasting senses will improve immensely
- Your wine appreciation will become greater
- You will discover incredible wine values. Ones not touted by wine publications or wine critics.
- Wine evokes emotions and bonds people. Wine clubs nourish comradarie.
- Wine tasting clubs relieve stress and soothe the soul.
Starting a wine tasting club
A good wine tasting club works just about the same way a book club works. Instead of reading a book, members taste a set of wines based on a theme. Like a book, the wines are critiqued, discussed and rated. To start a wine tasting club, consider these steps.
- Who will be in the wine club? Six to ten members work nicely for a wine club. There is only so much wine in a 750ml bottle of wine. Find folks who are passionate about wine but are not wine snobs.
- Where will the wine club meet? At a restaurant, a home or other location?
- How often will the wine club meet?
- Who will lead the wine club? This is the person who sends out notices and reminders about wine club meetings, plus other organizational details.
- What will the price range of the wines be, and how many wines should be tasted at a meeting?
- How will the club decide on which wines to taste? Examples: All Zinfandel wines. Will the wines be from one wine appellation or from different wine regions? All from the same vintage or from different vintages?
- What about food with or after the tasting?
- Use these free wine tasting party helpers
The Vintage Wine Tasters
In a nutshell, this is how our wine club, the Vintage Wine Tasters, operates. We meet the first Tuesday, every other month, at noon. The host chooses and shops for the wines. The host also provides information on the region of the wines, the prices, and where purchased. We like to aim for $20 or less on the price of a wine.
The host also prepares a lunch to be served following the wine tasting. The meal is usually, but not always, associated with the wine. If the wines are Chianti, the meal is Tuscan in style.
We have nine members in our wine tasting club. We taste the wines blind. All wines are bagged and numbered. We use a scoring sheet (link) to help us evaluate the wines. We tally up our points at the end and rank the wines.
The host is reimbursed $20 a member to help pay for the wines and the meal. We also throw in an extra $10 a member each meeting for what we call our “Splurge Tasting.” Once a year we spend a lot of money on six bottles of high-quality wines. Most recently, we had a Bordeaux tasting of six wines from the vintage 2000. The advantage here is that we get to taste wines we normally would never consider purchasing at this price point. It makes for a great learning experience.
At the end of each tasting event, we decide who will host the next meeting. We go around the table and each member suggests a theme for the next wine tasting. “I say we select wines from the Languedoc region of France.” We keep track of all our meetings and the wines on a Numbers spreadsheet on an iPad.
We love our wine tasting group for many reasons, but the main one is getting together enjoying wine and each other. It is so much more fun than a book club. Get started now on your wine tasting club.