How to Start a Wine Group
Starting a Wine Group
GT: Every once in a while, we have to give ourselves a shameless plug: We are committed to creating a community of wine drinkers who enjoy tasting and pairing wines with good friends and good food. We are promoting a site that insists that our users create a "Wine Group" but, over and over we keep hearing..."What's a wine group?" and "How do I start a wine group?"...below is the first of many posts and updates that will help our readers form their own Wine Group.
Step 1: Stop Dragging Your Feet
We have heard it all before..."I don't know enough about wine"...."My friend's know more than me"...." I'm going to embarrass myself if I put on a wine night". Realize that the snobbiest of your friends want you to invite them to your wine night so that they can tell all your other friends how much they know about wine. After they talk about all their experiences, then watch them pick a Charles Shaw wine as their winner. The reality is, the least snobby of your friends is the real wine expert and is so excited to meet up with friends and drink wine, that they literally can not wait until next month until you host another wine night. Our point is that everyone wants to be with good friends, learn about wine and pair it with good food. Free yourself of your inhibitions, read World Wine Groups interviews with people like Ernie Els and see how he enjoys drinking wine (hint...it's with friends) .
Step 2: Find Friends to form a Wine Club
To be honest, we can't help you with this. If your having trouble finding friends then we recommend myspace.com or facebook.com or even linkedin.com. One of our founders Sam, is still looking for friends and can be contacted through linked in at http://www.linkedin.com/in/samirbhavnani. But seriously, get at least 1 of your friends and form a wine group. Watch it grow to 2, 3, 4 and beyond! Drinking wine is social and should be consumed (responsibly) with good friends and good food!
Step 3: Organizing a Theme for Your Night
Make it as easy as "Italy" or as specific as a Village in Tuscany - it's your night! Choose to make dinner or appetizers, or to just drink good wine! (We always recommend pairing good food with good wine.) World Wine Groups has made it very easy to organize a theme night. Every month we have a "Wine of the Month" with wine notes you can print, wines we recommend and original content to help guide you. Our blog will provide you the insight you need to stay mentally sharp during your tastings!
Step 4: Choosing Your Wine
The wine has to match your theme. No sense in having Italian Night and Matching it with Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara. We recommend being as specific as you can. Try and come up with a grape or varietal that you know, like Cabernet or Chardonnay..then pick a specific region like Napa Valley or Santa Barbara. After you selected the varietal and region, select a year such as 2005 or 2006 (this is the year the grape was harvested). As you continue to advance your wine group, you may find that you get more specific in each of these requirements.
Step 5: The Tastings
There are many options for organizing your tastings. If you prefer a casual setting, feel free to taste wines however you feel necessary! We recommend hiding the wines as well as inserting a "dummy" wine or a wine of excellent quality to help gauge the scores.
If you looking for something more formal, we recommend the following:
Using the Blind Wine Game!
Our Friends at Blind Wine: The Wine Tasting Game, have a game that includes everything you need to have a fun night tasting and rating wines. This game can be purchased on their website or at retialers like Beverages and More.
It works like this - As the party host, you determine the type of wine your guests should bring by indicating the region, year and price range on your customized BlindWine® invitations. Once your guests arrive, cover each wine bottle in a BlindWine® bag. Now it's time to play. Your guests will taste and score the wines using a very easy-to-follow BlindWine® scorecard. This is a great way to learn more about wine. Once all of the scores are in and the lowest-rated and highest-rated wines have been determined, you get to present the winner with the acclaimed gold medal. Do I hear rematch? Before the evening is over, your friends will already be planning their own BlindWine® party. (courtesy of the Blind Wine website.)
Step 5: Keeping Track of Your Scores
If you are interested in keeping track of your scores over a period of time, then we recommend joining our World Wine Groups and signing up to become one of our wine groups.
Step 6: Tell Everyone What Worked and What Didn't Work
Fill out out the Forum on Your local Wine Group and tell people what worked, and what didn't work.