Host Your Own Wine Club
As a member of HYO Wine Club we will send you a list of wines that we recommend you to try each month. When you try the wines please tell us what you think on Twitter using @HYOwineclub and #HYOwineclub, or on the PrincessAndThePinot Facebook Page - we would love to chat to you about the wines you've tasted based on our recommendations. Most of the wines will be available on the high street, but some come from independent stores or winemakers. You can try the wines in the comfort of your own home at your leisure, or you can come to our pop-up wine bars to try the wines, or we can help you to Host Your Own wine club. The flights of wine served at our pop-up wine bars will feature the wines recommended for HYO Wine Club.
How to Host Your Own (HYO)
Who, when and where
We suggest getting a few friends together once a month. A good number would be 6-12 people, but of course you can make it as small or large as you like. You can start with friends and family, and expand to friends of friends, and you can even set up an official club or society if you get enough interest. Hosting your own wine club with friends is a good place to start, so people feel they can ask “stupid” questions. Find a comfortable setting, such as your own home, or perhaps your local pub or village hall has a room you can hire if everyone is willing to chip in?
HYO Wine Club will recommend six bottles of wine, in themes, each month for you to try. These will mostly be available on the high street and we will tell you where to buy and how much for. Some will be from independent retailers or direct from winemakers, and you can always ask your local independent retailer to see if they can source it for you. If you can’t get hold of the wines we recommend, you can ask us to suggest some alternatives, or ask in your local wine store for a reasonable substitute.
We usually find that each bottle of wine will go round 10-12 people, so long as only a tasting amount is poured into each glass. If there are 10 of you, six people could volunteer to buy each of the wines, and the other four could bring some food or pay for the venue hire. If the theme is a country you could bring food and play music to reflect that theme.
What to bring
We recommend each person brings six wine tasting glasses with
them. If everyone brings their own glasses it will save the host a lot of washing up! Of course not everyone will have tasting glasses, so normal glasses are fine too. And not everyone might want to bring six, but that’s fine, but we still suggest at least two per person, because sometimes we will make comparisons between the wines.You should make sure there are jugs of water and water glasses available for everyone, and having breadsticks or crackers will help to cleanse the palate. I doubt anyone will want to spit the wine out at a casual tasting, but maybe have a spittoon or a couple of mugs to hand just in case. Make sure the white wines have been chilled, or use a cooling sleeve or ice bucket (with ice and water in it) to chill them.
Before you start, you can download the HYO Tasting Guide HERE, and print this off along with the tasting notes for the wines we have recommended that month. People can use the HYO Tasting Guide to make notes about the wines.
Taking partAs you try the wines you can use our tasting notes as a guide, but everyone should be given the opportunity to contribute during the session and add any facts they have learned about the theme or the wines from their local retailer, online research, or personal experiences. Adding stories always help to bring more enjoyment to tasting wine.
We hope you and your Club members will join us at our Twitter Chat on the last Monday of the month at 8pm using @HYOwineclub and #HYOwineclub to let us know what you thought of the wines, and whether you agreed or disagreed with our tasting notes. We would also love to know if your Club had a favourite wine of the month!
If your club members are enjoying other wines between your monthly sessions, do ask them to share these with the group, and with us on Twitter @HYOwineclub.