People are generally surprised when I mention that our church has a wine tasting group. Interestingly, the group is not only successful, but it also is one of the longest-running groups at the church.
I’m not sure when the group actually started, but being one of the founding organizers and prime movers, my best guess is 12-15 years ago. We are a fun and fellowship group that uses wine as the vehicle to drive the event.
The following are the basics for our group:
- Meet 3-5 times per year
- Volunteers offer to host the event
- Organizers set the theme, which may be countries, regions, wine types (varietals), or something quirky as numbers, animals, or colors – and something to accommodate red and white wines
- Attendees sign up in advance, bring a bottle of wine (per couple) within the theme and an appetizer to share
Like any organization, he had growing pains. On the other hand, because we pioneers wanted to be an official church group, we quickly adjusted. Here are some of the finer points that I have learned.
- We went to the pastors first with our idea to get their permission
- As attendees arrive, the host provides inexpensive starter wines
- Using nametags is important
- Incorporate a “program” within the event – we include a welcome, thanks to the hosts, introducing first-time attendees, a prayer, something informative about the wines/theme, and reminders about the group’s purpose
- After the program, the remaining time is for fun and fellowship
- Have a set of wine glasses for the group (they don’t have to be fancy)
- If the wine runs out, so be it – thus the host does not supplement
- Know the communication guidelines within the church as newsletter and weekly bulletin submission requirements and deadlines
- Remind attendees not to fill the glass so everyone gets a chance to taste
Given our longevity, our group has been successful. During our years, I have no doubt that 400 different people attended our functions … thus I wonder how many people would I not know if it wasn’t for our church wine group.
By the way, in this past post, here’s a prayer I put together about wine, The Spirit of Wine. Plus, enjoy some of our home decor done with corks.