Hi I am looking for some help please. Do Wine Societies exist in America? We have them in Europe where groups of wine lovers meet up on a monthly basis to taste and discuss wines, often going on annual wine trips to different regions/countries.

From what I can understand (searching the internet) Wine Clubs are wineries that sell their wines to members, but are there independent clubs out there, that are not about selling but about education?

Many thanks for your help.
Original Post
Hi Emma. Here is what I can reply from what I know: The off-line event section of the forums is mainly for enthusiasts who are interested in focusing on a particular type of wine or region or vintage. (wine themes vary). While some are in the trade, many come from various professions but would like to learn more by tasting.

I am not sure of the number of people in your area in France, but in the larger cities and suburbs, people typically post something of interest in the "Off-live event" part of this forum and others in the area who are equally interested typically meet up at someone's home or at a restaurant where they can sample wines over dinner. I just went to one last night, in fact.

BTW, I was at Vinecole near Carcassonne when Matt Stubbs was giving his class. You were preparing some tapas of Languedoc. i am the one who was on a soapbox about the wonderful and filling cassoulet. Let me know if my answer needs more attention.
Emma, we will be in your area next August. Are any events planned then and do you allow outsiders to participate?
Vinecole, try Meetup.com. There are lots of groups there for wine-lovers ranging from educational to social to let's just get drunk WinkObviously, the bigger the city you're in, the bigger selection of groups you'll have (I'm in California).
Vinecole - yes.

But we don't necessarily call them societies. I have been participating in a group for a number of years, and some groups that I know have been meeting for more than 25 years.

If you come to the US, please contact me and we will invite you! I will be in the Roussillon next week to meet some winemakers.
In my area, there are two groups that are formed around the enjoyment of wine.

One group meets monthly, and is mostly a social group, and they taste through a lineup of primarily "value" wines ($5-$30). They usually have a theme, that can be as specific as "Sauvignon Blanc" or "Wines of Jumilla", or as broad as "summer quaffers" or "value reds". The group doesn't travel as a whole, but many members will vacation together, often including vineyard or winery visits on their trips.

The other group is quite similar, also meeting monthly, but the tastings tend to be a little more educational, with blind comparisons, more effort put into a theme, and a broader price range for wines. Some of the meetings digress into simple social events, however. It really depends upon who is the host for the particular month. Again, we don't really take group trips anywhere, but a few of us have, on occasion, gone on a tasting trip to Michigan wineries, and we did once commission our own barrel of Napa Cabernet through a custom wine making facility (CrushPad).

As mentioned above, there are all sorts of groups out there that gather on a common interest of wine. I'm sure some are larger and more organized, focusing on wine travel, but I don't know of specific groups like that. I'm sure they would be found more often near big cities.

I think more often, I see advertisements for tour guides in Europe who lead groups through various regions, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Alsace, etc., and individuals or couples from America sign up for these "adventures" not always knowing the other members of the tour group before hand.

There are certainly "Wine Cruises" down the Mosel or Rhine that are also of this type.

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