May 26, 2011|
1. Assemble the right people—and the right number. Choose friends who share your level of interest and commitment, and of course, who are fun. Have a number large enough to comfortably cover costs (and help drink the wine) but not so many that it gets hard to keep track. Six is good.
2. Decide on a budget. Presumably, you’ll want all members to chip in for the cost of the six or twelve bottles being delivered. Work within the budget to make sure everyone can continue participating. There are plenty of great wines that don’t cost the earth. (If you do want to enjoy some fancier wines, you can reduce the total number of wines ordered.)
3. Pick a theme. For each meeting—and hence each order—choose a general region or a couple of varietals you want to taste in detail. This can be as general as “cabernet sauvignons from Chile” and “chardonnays from California” or as specific as “shiraz from Barossa Valley.” Do a mix of whites and reds to make things fun.
4. Research your wines. The host can be in charge of contacting the importer for any wine notes if available. If not, a google search can yield enough information to go on.
5. Order the wine. You have a theme, a budget, and tasting notes: pick what sounds yummy and send in your order.
6. Get together and drink. At the meeting, taste the wines and discuss them before reading the notes. Before going home (get a cab!), decide on the next meeting’s theme. (Trust us, doing this after the fact takes forever.)
7. Host on a rotating basis. The host can be in charge of collecting everyone’s suggestions, compiling a list of wines and making the order. They can also provide snacks and glasses and make sure that tasting notes are ready when needed. To encourage hosting, you might decide that each host gets to keep all the leftover wine.