FAQ

Have a question? Check here to see whether it's been frequently asked. And if you still have questions, don't hesitate to email us: stanfordwine_exec (at) lists (dot) stanford (dot) edu.

 

I don’t know anything about wine at all. Can I still join?

YES! A resounding yes. The reason our club exists is to help people learn. Every quarter we have a few beginner wine-tasting workshops, which will give you a chance to learn how to taste wine (as well as a bunch of other basics, like how wine is made, what’s in it, etc).

 

I know a LOT about wine already. Is it worth my while to join?

YES! The second reason our club exists is to provide a community so that people who like wine can enjoy wine together and continue to learn more. By joining us you’ll gain a whole group of friends with whom to hold blind tastings, visit wineries, and share notes.

Plus, we guarantee that no matter how much you know, you’ll learn something new at each of our events. Our group places a special emphasis on learning about the science of wine—biology, chemistry, sensory science, and more—topics that most tasting societies don’t cover with quite so much geekiness.

 

Why does it cost so much to join? Can I just pay for a single tasting?

Unfortunately, Stanford’s alcohol regulations (which are complicated, but are in place for good reasons) don’t allow us to charge admission to individual events. And the Graduate Student Council and Graduate Student Programming Board are generous enough to offer us funding for some events, but not for most. So most of our wine is paid for by your membership dues.

We do believe that joining is fantastic value for money. Think about it: many wine bars and wineries charge $15 just for a single flight, which is much more expensive per flight than the quarterly dues associated with the 10-20 flights we have each quarter! We work hard to make our events truly educational and social, and those unique opportunities are priceless.

 

Why are only students and post-docs allowed to join? I am a [professor/staff member/spouse/local wine expert]—can I join?

Unfortunately, Stanford’s rules don’t allow student groups like us to have non-student members. However, we really do value the enthusiasm and expertise of all wine lovers in the Stanford community, so if you’re really interested in our club, please do get in touch and we can try to find a way for you to get involved.

 

I have a [spouse/partner/roommate/family member] who is not a student but wants to come to events, and I’ll only enjoy events if I can I bring [him/her/them]. Can I bring [him/her/them]?

Yes! Every member is allowed to bring a guest to each event if there’s space. If space is limited, we have to give priority to members over guests. However, we understand that if all our events get crowded and you never get a chance to bring your other half, that’ll be no fun, especially if that other person is important to your wine experience... so please get in touch with us and we can try to figure something out.

 

I’m an undergrad. Can I join?

Yes—if you’re 21 or older! Please don’t bring any friends who are under 21.

 

Are you related to the Lyman Wine Tastings? Or the viticulture and oenology classes (Frenlang 60D and 60P)? How about the Vines and Strata club or the GSB Wine Circle?

Nope! We’re a different group than all of those organzations. What makes us different is that we’re a wine club that meets regularly and is open to all graduate students.

The Lyman wine tastings are definitely something you want to go to; they’re held multiple times throughout the year, and each covers a several great wines within a theme. If you’re in Lyman you’ll get announcements about them when they happen. The viticulture/oenology classes are offered for credit through the French department. We’ve heard great things about them! But, like any other class at Stanford, each one only lasts a quarter, and a class is not quite the same thing as a club.

The GSB Wine Circle and the Vines and Strata are our friends on campus, and we sometimes invite them to our events and vice versa. However, you have to be enrolled in the Graduate School of Business to join the GSB wine circle (on the flip side, if you’re in the GSB and just being a member of 1 club isn’t enough for you, you’re welcome to join our club too!). As compared to the Vines and Strata group who explores more about the links between geology and terroir, we meet much more frequently and focus our events on tasting, comparing, and learning about the wines.

 

Do SWS members get discounts at wine shops or wineries?

That’s a bit complicated. Most wine shops are not interested in giving discounts to student wine clubs, but we have worked to establish some relationships! We have a standing relationship with multiple wine importers to get discounts and special access, and sometimes we're able to get discounts for our members to attend trade tasting events or invitations to visit wineries in the area. When we do, we’ll always be in touch with our members! As time goes on, these opportunities will become more frequent.

 

What kinds of wines do you drink?

All sorts! We try to provide a wide range in every sense of the word--in varietal, region, style, price range, and more. We often do try to focus on not-so-pricey wines ($20 and under) that are available at local stores, so that if you fall in love with something at one of our tastings, you'll be able to buy it. If you have ideas of what you'd like to try at the next tasting, we'd love to hear them!