A Word from Bill —November 2014

Last weekend your Board of Directors got together to discuss a number of things that will be important to the Guild moving forward. Much of the discussion focused on the results of our recent survey—key items being membership and events.

Lets first address membership: The Guild has a number of annual fixed costs. The largest cost is liability insurance for events and then, of course, there are supplies and inventory required over the year (e.g. glassware). Your annual membership covers these costs. After closer examination of our financial situation, it is my pleasure to announce that our annual membership for 2015 is $25 (taxes included). This should encourage your support through membership renewal and also attract new wine lovers to join us. By the way, you can renew now for the 2015 season at the new price at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2014-annual-membership-september-to-december-purchases-tickets-10049188393.

The second part of our discussion was around events. Our formula for most tastings is to either break even or make a modest profit. As our operating costs are covered largely through memberships and Guild volunteer activities, we can provide good value on an event-by-event basis. One clear message coming out of the survey that given everyone’s busy schedules, you’re interested in events that are unique and educational.

In order to ensure that our events meet your needs and interests, we have a group of Directors with a diverse tasting background. Many are well-travelled and have a deep knowledge of different regions, wines and producers. Upcoming tastings include high-end Cabernet and Italian wine tastings, a high-end auction tasting, a 12-year Chateau Gaby vertical, more Century Club tastings as well as some interesting food and wine events and a new event we are introducing to replace the Guild Gala. Recent events and those we are planning feature different, fascinating wines and an educational component in the form of a presentation on the wines covered. We will also be doing this for our monthly Vintage Pre-Release tastings, which continue to provide great value and test your tasting skills!

Thanks again for your input on the survey. If you have any other thoughts, feel free to drop me a line at bill.ellis@sommelierguild.com.

I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming tasting!

Cheers, Bill Ellis, President