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Wine Tasting Clubs

One of the best ways to learn about wine and to discover new wines is to be a member of a wine tasting club. 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?

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 the group successful.

It’s helpful to select a regular meeting date, such as the first Wednesday of every month.

Each member should bring a set of wine glasses for the tasting. Our club tastes six wines so we each bring a set of six wine glasses. On occasion we sometimes taste eight to ten wines. In this case we taste the wines in two flights.

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.

At the end of the meeting, select the wine varietal to taste for the next meeting. In our club, 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. Check the pages at WineCountryGetaways to obtain scoring forms and more information about Hosting a Wine Tasting.

Let us know if you have started a wine club or already have an ongoing wine club. Post your results to Good Cheap Vino. We can all learn from each other about our top wines and the wines that disappoint.

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  1. We had a Grocery Outlet wine tasting late last week. I’ve pasted the results below. Found some real bargains!
    Hi Cheapo Winos,

    19 Sons in Retirement and spouses (plus Jason and Kathy Olson, owners of the Pleasant Hill Grocery Outlet) met at Casa Benson for our third bargain (cheap) wine adventure that also included a lasagna meal. The group tasted nine wines that included two sauvignon blancs, two chardonnays, one merlot, one zin and three cabernet sauvignons. After the tasting we feasted on Ms Donna’s lasagna, Italian mixed green salad, garlic bread and cheesecake. Thanks sweetie.

    The bottles ranged in price from $2.99 to $9.99. Total cost for a bottle of each of the nine was $49. Had they been purchased from sources on the Internet, the total cost would have been $142. As for the results, once again we found some of the least expensive to be well made and terrific bargain purchases.

    There were also a lot of wines that the raters would purchase immediately or at a later dated. The major problems with purchasing wines at Grocery Outlet is that the wine there today likely will not be there tomorrow. So if you see a bargain, jump on it. If you purchase several of the same wine and don’t like the first, GO will gladly refund you your purchase price if you keep the receipt. So there’s really little risk. A couple of members have confessed to bringing a corkscrew with them when shopping and tasting in the parking lot. Imagine that, a wine tasting venue in Pleasant Hill.

    Crowd favorites included the following:
    2009 Landing Place Chardonnay, Sonoma, $2.99 (yes, that’s right, only $2.99)
    2008 Charles Creek Chardonnay, “Las Patolitas,” Sonoma, $9.99 (You can get more than three bottles of the Landing Place for one of the Charles Creek, and the Landing Place scored very slightly lower)
    2009 Bandiera Merlot, North Coast, $4.99
    2005 Mendocino Farms Red Vine (mostly cab, I think 75%), $3.99 (This was our third place red, but the difference in ratings between the Bandiera and the Charles Creek Cab, which follows, was minute.)
    2008 Charles Creek Cabernet Sauvignon, “La Sonrisa del Tecolote,” $9.99 This wine was the overall winner, but the difference between the scores of the top three reds was very slight. It was a bit softer than the Mendo Farms, but the difference in price was generally not judged to be worth it unless you were bringing it as a hostess gift.

    I’ve attached a recap of the judging sheet. Also, I’ve included a link to a great article on how to read wine labels. A must read for those of us into bargain wine hunting. http://nowineforyou.com/2012/05/26/vinted-and-bottled-by-be-a-wine-label-detective-wine-bargains-and-values/

    Best to all, now get out there and shop! I’ve made my purchases, and those of you who are Sirs in the Kitchen will undoubtedly be seeing them in the future.
    Ed, Chief Cheapo Wino

    • Hi Ed, Chief Cheapo Wino:

      Thanks for this terrific information on your Grocery Outlet tastings. I hope our readers will find this comment. I will make a link to it in my next post (Monday). If more readers gave us the tasting comments like this, we would surely help us find more bargain wines. Thanks again.

  2. Well, all things considered…

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