One of the best ways to learn about wine and to discover new wines is to be a member of a wine tasting club. Why not consider starting one and take the month of December to organize your club and set up a tasting for January 2010. A wine tasting club functions somewhat like the popular book clubs held in homes all over the world today. In this case, the purpose is not to read and discuss books, but to taste and discuss different wines. Which one of these clubs do you think is more fun?
Our Vintage Wine Tasting club consists of 7 members who meet every other month. We meet at noon, taste and judge our wines, and then the host serves us a fabulous lunch. We like to focus on wines that are in the bargain category, no more than $20 per bottle. Once a year we splurge and do a Cabernet Sauvignon tasting at $40. We each put an extra $5 in the kitty at our meeting to help fund this tasting. We also get together as a group with our spouses three or four times a year for a festive dinner and we each bring a special bottle of wine from our cellars. The idea of the wine tasting club has brought a whole new level of commodity and enjoyment beyond our expectations.
Here are some basic tips for how you can start a wine tasting club.
Enlist 6 to 10 people to become members of the wine tasting club. For the first meeting, you run the show. You select the six wines to be tasted (or whatever number fits with your club). At the first meeting decide on a club name, how much to spend, who hosts, and decide all the other organizational stuff that is necessary to make a group successful.
It’s helpful to select a regular meeting date, such as the first Wednesday of every other month.
Each member uses a score sheet to score each wine and then the club tallies the scores for the overall ranking. Perhaps the most interesting activity is discussing each wine. We never take ourselves too seriously and generally end up poking fun at one another about our wine judging abilities. At the end of the meeting, we select the wine varietal to taste for our next meeting. We go around the table and each member advocates for a particular varietal. Whoever hosts the next meeting also selects and buys each wine. The host does some research before going to wine shops to garner their selections. There are many more tips and the scoring forms on this page to help with your club.
Let us know if you have started a wine club or already have an ongoing wine club. Send us your results or comment below to tell us what you are tasting and your top wine selections. If your wine club focuses on wines under $20, join Good Cheap Vino and post your results under Wine Club. We can all learn from each other about our top wines and the wines that disappoint.