How to Start a Wine Club
May, 2014 · By Coryanne Ettiene
There are 2 kinds of book clubs, those with wine, and those without. If you are anything like me, you belong to the one with wine, and generally spend your time drinking rather than talking about the book – sound familiar? If so, you should be tossing the book on your bedside table and inviting a few friends over for a wine tasting. Wine tastings are a clever way to learn more about wine, food pairing and discovering new grapes (aka, drinking).
Each gathering discusses a region of wine, all wine and food served at that event match the geography allowing club members to learn as much as they can about the grape varieties of the region and food pairing to compliment the wine. There are many ways to organize the event, but I have found that keeping the number of attendees to less than 10 works well. The host of the event draws up a list of potential wine varieties for the night, each attendee (or couple) brings a bottle of wine form the list, along with some background information on the grape, and a dish to compliment it.
Now that you know how it works…and listen darlings, it is so much fun. You need to know how to taste:
- Eye of the beholder: Hold the glass at a distance and look at the color, is it a new vibrant wine or an old mellow wine? Reds are generally purplish when young, and orange-tinted when old; whites tend to be bright yellowy when young and a soft golden color when old.
- Close your eyes and smell the wine, take in the aroma: Do you smell floral, citrus, spice, berry, et all? What you smell now is an indication of what is to come. There must be balance is the aroma, too much of something will surely imbalance the taste.
- Taste it – balance is key: To much of one flavor and the wine will be imbalanced. Can you taste the smells you encountered earlier? What do you taste? Once the wine has left you, does the flavor linger afterwards?
- Ask yourself: What grape variety is this? What aromas can I detect? What flavors did I expect, did I find? What food would accompany this well? What makes this wine special?