Way back when the book club met for the first time to discuss The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, only one person finished the book. The next month was Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. A few more people finished it, but it still wasn’t getting the momentum it needed.

My friend Rosa wanted the book club to work, but she says she forgot that we were all young 20-somethings and no one seemed to have the time to read a whole novel in a month. She was inspired by our other friend Ashley who was part of a group of girls who switched books out for bottles met every month to learn about vino. Rosa was like, “Hey! We could do that. We all love wine anyway.”

“Yes!” everyone screamed. And that’s how this tradition started.

So, to make sure my headline isn’t deceiving, I’ll finish the sentence: The first rule of wine club is… to start a book club and then get rid of the book part of it. (Of course, if you do switch book club to wine club and have a juicy novel you think would be fun to discuss one month, you can do a pairing theme around it.)

 Here’s how wine club works:

  1. A different person hosts at their home each month. 
  2. While Rosa makes sure it keeps happening each month, the baton is passed to the host to keep everyone involved and not put the burden on just one person. 
  3. Membership is exclusive. “I wanted people who would be dependable and people in other industries and friend groups so that we could broaden our network,” Rosa explains. 
  4. Everyone brings a bottle based on a theme (i.e., “wines from Italy” or “blind tasting”)
  5. The goal is to try to learn something about the wines, but let’s be real for a sec… it just turns into a gab fest.
  6. We’ve had field trips! (Winery tour in Long Island)
  7. And guest speakers! (Experts have actually attempted to teach us stuff… bless their hearts)
  8. And it’s a good way to meet new people (a lot of times, the person who hosts invites their girlfriends, too.)
Our lovely hostess Christine on Friday night. Her theme was “Prosecco – A play on Sangria”

The tradition has actually remained strong since it began. Of course not everyone comes to every meeting, but I believe the group has met (and correct me if I’m wrong, Rosa!) once a month for 2 years now.

Our Friday night meeting at Christine’s house was actually a deja vu moment since we had met exactly one year prior at that very place. So, we re-created a pic from that night:

A few things to note:

  • My phone camera’s quality has vastly improved (go iPhone 6!) 
  • Some girls are not there anymore — Rebecca in the back moved to Washington DC and is expecting her first baby. We also have another wine club baby on the way — my friend (and former NYC roommate) Chelsy in the back is pregnant now! Obviously no wine for the baby bump, so she sipped on non-alcoholic drinks all night.
  • Those are genuine happy smiles.

Love this group and tradition so much! Hope we can keep it going for a very long time.

5 Things I didn’t Know About Wine Until I Went to Bordeaux

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