Several of you were curious what a Wine Club is, and how you host it, and I thought it'd be fun to put together a blog post explaining the whole thing! My friend, Sharisa, started the club almost a year ago, and we've done it every single month since. I love Wine Club, and I look forward to it every month. It's just a great excuse to get together with your girlfriends, meet new friends, eat really good food, and drink wine!
Wine Club happens once a month. To get one started, plan the first one at your place! Invite close girlfriends, work friends, whoever you think might mingle well together. We usually have anywhere from 6-18 girls. 6 feels pretty small and intimate, and 18 feels like a full house. You can invite more or less also, but this feels like a good number range for a variety of wines and foods to try. You need to choose the first theme. Themes are wines like... Moscato, Champagne, Malbec, Pinot Noir, or you can do different themes like Italian, made in Michigan, seasonal wines, etc. On your invite, make sure to note that each person needs to bring a bottle of wine, and an appetizer to share. We usually start ours at 7PM. That gives people enough time to get home from work, grab wine/snacks if they need to, and be to your place on time.
Items to have on hand:
Brown paper bags, a wine opener, wine glasses, pens, and paper to cover all of the girls invited. I used index cards as they are sturdy/easier to hold if you're standing. As a host, you also need to bring your own bottle of wine, and a snack. Our group has also started the tradition of purchasing the winner of Wine Club a small wine-related gift, but that's totally optional. This Friday Night Wine Glass was my favorite gift I've given so far. World Market can do no wrong. ;)
Prep for your party!
Label each brown paper bag with a letter. This is how you will rate the wines at the party. Make sure you have a good gathering place for everyone to set their snacks down, and mingle. Have a table set aside for all of your wine bottles, placed in the brown paper bags. Set out wine glasses, and label them with people's names if you'd like or use wine tags. Last time, I used plastic wine glasses and chalkboard labels with everyone's name written on them. Set out napkins, forks, plates, and a jug of water. Make a playlist that has a good few hours of fun jams on it!
Each bottle is rated on a 1-5 system. 1 being the worst, 5 being the best. The owner of the bottle that receives the most amount of points wins. The owner of the bottle that receives the least amount of points loses. The winner gets to choose the theme of the next Wine Club, and the loser has to host! If the loser cannot host for whatever reason, we usually ask at the party to see if anyone else might want to volunteer. I feel like we never have a hard time finding someone to host. It's so fun!
Make sure each girl gets their own wine glass, and have a friend help open all of the bottles. Everyone will mingle as you're setting up and getting it all ready. Be sure to quickly introduce anyone who hasn't met, and announce the rules of the party. As the hostess, you pour all of the wines (wine tasting portions) into each glass. Be sure to announce (loudly!) the letter of the bottle of wine you are pouring! Be sure to drink your own sample, wait about 15 minutes, and pour the next! If you have a smaller group, I'd say stretch it out more. If you have 18+ girls, I'd say go fast! If you're hosting on a weeknight, usually people start leaving around 10-10:30pm.
Hope you all enjoyed learning about how to host your own Wine Club! Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section, and I'll be sure to reply! You can also follow my "Wine Club" Pinterest board for ideas on yummy snacks and appetizers. Happy wine-ing! xo