So you’re intrigued by the idea of starting or enhancing a girls’ night out, whether it be a wine night, a dine night or a bowing team! And you want to make a positive impact. After you’ve joined Inspired Wining, the following tips will help you get started.
Find your friends, and the cause will find you
It’s true that you shouldn’t rush something really worthwhile, like a fine wine. Just as the making of a good wine involves timing and the right kind of chemistry, The same is true for lasting, meaningful, productive friendships. Focus first on gathering your girls. If you haven’t identified your cause, that’s okay. With the right group of 5-10 women, the cause around which you will rally will eventually make itself known. And that’s when the real fun begins!
Set aside your day and time
These days, it seems we’re all pulled in a million different directions. All the more reason to set aside a specific day and time each month when nothing will come between your friends and your wine! The Inspired Wining founders meet the first Wednesday night of the month at 8pm. For us, that night quickly became known as Wednesday Night Whine. The kids are in bed (or close to it), and we come together to share our stories, our ideas, and of course, great wine and appetizers.
Choose your venue
While we all love a good restaurant or wine bar, we can’t emphasize enough the importance of gathering in a place where you won’t be rushed or distracted. We prefer to meet inside one of homes where we can kick off our shoes, curl up on the sofa and stay as long as we like. Every now and then, we’ll treat ourselves to a night out, but most Wednesday Night Whine gatherings are located in the cozy and relaxing home of one of our longest-standing members.
Don’t forget the wine
Determine what works best for you, but when it comes to the food and wine, we’ve found a great system. The hostess supplies a few appetizers for the group, and each member brings her favorite bottle of wine to share. Any leftover wine is kept in reserve for the next meeting. And when you’re shopping for the perfect bottle, remember there are a lot of wonderful wines for under $10. We like to challenge one another to see who can get the most delicious wine for the best price.
Let the wine and your friends inspire you
Wednesday Night Whine originally began when two of our members decided they could use a few hours away to talk about their lives and share the things that were challenging them. Their conclusion was, “We should do this more often.” In a few weeks, they met again on a Wednesday night, and this time they invited a few other friends, making it a regular event each month. We wined and dined, vented and celebrated – and then something amazing began. We found our cause…and our cause found us. As one of our members discussed her desire to fight a disease that had delivered a distressing sentence to one of her children, our cause became clear. Our first fundraiser was born, and along with it new hopes and possibilities for a different outcome for her family and others like them. The lesson? Let it be organic. Let the cause find you.
Choosing the right wine group is just as important as choosing the right wine. These are the ladies who will who will be there for you, inspire you, and become inspired by you. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you assemble your very own group of Inspired Winers.
A balance of personalities is key. Whether you know your cause or are letting it come to you in good time, you’re going to need women with a variety of talents. Worker bees. Networkers. Spokespeople. Creatives. These are just a few examples;there are all kinds of personalities and talents among the women you know. Pull together a diverse group and let the skills and passions lead the way.
The first word in fundraising is “fun.” For your group to be successful, you’ve got to first be comfortable. Curling up on each other’s couches. Sharing ideas. Empowering one another.
A good wine has a long finish – consistent quality from one sip to the next. Find women who you think will be dedicated to regular get-togethers (we suggest once a month), and who will have staying power. As your group gets started, you might find that a member comes and another member goes, but before too long, it should be obvious who’s grounded to the group and the cause.
Wining is not about how many glasses you have, but savoring the wine. Similarly, your group should be focused more on quality rather than quantity. Smaller groups tend to be better because people seem to be more engaged and feel more closely connected to the group. If you find that you have more than ten women in mind, why not suggest that one of your friends starts another group with either the same cause or a different one entirely?
A good wine has a good body to it, and we all want that, right? But in this instance, substance refers to something much less superficial. Inspired Wining is about women finding and creating more meaning in their lives, becoming motivated by their ability to bring about a positive change. If you know a few ladies who fit this description, they just might be your girls.
Once you’ve got your group and are getting together for monthly meetings, don’t feel as though you need to rush things. Give it time. Your cause will come to you, and when it does, while passion is a great thing, you’ll want to be thoughtful about it and enjoy the moment. Just like enjoying a great glass of wine!
Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Estate Grown, Double-Gold winner at the 2010 North Carolina Wine Competition, 18 month barrel aged, full body with a rich smooth finish; starts with aromas of dark cherry and coffee and moves into earthy tobacco, dark cherry and currant on the palate with firm tannin for a well balanced finish.