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How to Host a Charity Wine Tasting Fundraiser


Are you looking for new ideas for your next fundraising event?

How about a wine tasting fundraiser? You don’t have to be a wine expert or live in wine country to host a charity wine tasting.

Wine tasting fundraisers can be as casual or as formal
or as want them to be. They can also be adapted to small groups or you can host a large gala wine tasting. There are many twists to raising money with a wine tasting.

Some of the ways we have seen wine tastings incorporated into a fundraising event are:

– A casual, cocktail party-style tasting. Different wines are placed on tables. The guests walk from table to table to sample the wine. Hor duerves are served at each tasting station. The servers should be knowleagable about the wines and discuss them with the guests.

– A formal dinner with a different wine served with each course. Place information at the tables about the wine and why it is being paired with that course.

– As a tradiontal wine tasting event. Invite a guest speaker or speakers to give short seminars on wine and how to appreciate it. Provide the guests with instructions on how to taste and rate wine. Wines are tasted at stations or brought to the guests at tables.

As with any fundraising event you should always try to get as many donations and sponsors as possible to help cover your costs.

Ask local restaurants if they can donate food to go along with the wines. Good food pairings, aside from a full dinner are, are appetizers, cheese, chocolates, and desserts.

If you live in an area with several local vineyards you can ask them if they will donate wine and provide personnel to serve and discuss the wine at the event. You can also ask local stores that specialize in wine and spirits to participate.

There are many options when it comes to choosing the venue for a wine tasting fundraiser. When the weather permits, outdoor locations, such as a vineyard are good choices.

Some other options are:

At a museum or other cultural center

At an historic estate or garden

At a private club

At a restaurant

In a hotel banquet room

At a private home

Set your event ticket price taking into account the following factors:

How much will the event cost you to produce?

How much money do you need to raise?

How much have you received in donations and sponsorships?

How many tickets are you selling?

Will there be other opportunities to raise money at the event, such as a silent auction or raffle?

Other ways to raise money besides tickets sales are to feature a silent auctions, live auctions and raffles. Your auction items can be wine-related accessories such as wine glasses and cork screws. They don’t have to be wine-related because you will probably receive donations of items that are not wine-related and this is fine.

Taking orders for wine can also bring in a significant amount of money. The businesses that provided the wine can take orders for the wines that were tasted and give your organization a percentage of the sales. This will be a win-win situation for your organization and the business.

You can also combine a wine tasting with other themes and feature wine and cheese, wine and chocolates, wine and tapas or desserts, wine and cigars, wine and jazz, wine and opera. Wine lends itself to many themes. How about a dance, or sale of art, antiques, jewelry or fashion? The possibilities are endless.

Brainstorm with members of your fundraising team and come up with your own creative ideas for a charity wine tasting.

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