When asked about my interests out of work and family, I’ve always struggled to come up with any legitimate hobbies.
You know … the ones you’d actually put on a form or ones that would make for good conversation starters.
I the past year, that all changed. I not only decided to learn to run but I was invited to my first Champagne club meeting.
Because LIFE BALANCE.
It was September last year before the planets aligned and a Saturday opened up for me to take up said Champagne club invitation.
That afternoon was an intimate affair, with about six Champagne-loving women, but I loved my introduction to this concept.
In a nutshell, it’s about like-minded women from all walks of life coming together over a love of a Champagne.
Similar Champagne bucket – Bed Bath and Table – I didn’t buy mine there but wished I had done!
In the club I was invited to join, I knew a few of the women through blogging and business circles but now I’ve been able to expand that circle of friends, meeting others at that first club and a larger gathering before Christmas.
There is a lot to be said about common interests, yes? And Champagne flowing all afternoon. I swear our conversations became more intelligent as the afternoon went on. Well, that’s what told each other. HAH.
Now, before you think Champagne clubs need to be all about the being able to “speak” the language of wine tasting, relax.
Yes, some in our group have more knowledge that others. And my others, I mean me. But, mostly it’s all about trying some different Champagnes, ones that we may or may not have tasted before. We may have a little story to share about our choice but it’s ok if that story is all about the label! Well, that’s what I told myself.
I’m not quite sure how I came to be hosting a Champagne club for our group when technically I was a newbie but I do love hosting a gathering, so I embraced the challenge.
Originally it was meant to be a “farewell to summer” Champagne garden party but the party came inside when the rain and humidity had other plans.
When I posted on Instagram about it, I had quite a few requests from people wanting to know how to organise their own Champagne club.
10 tips for how to organise and host a Champagne club afternoon
1. Create a Facebook group members of your club. You don’t have to be on the only admin but this will be a great way to communicate with each other, post news about future club meets and share photos from the day. Our Facebook group told me that about 15-17 people would be attending my gathering.
2. The host provides the food/nibblies for the gathering. Our club meets start at 2pm and our last guests left at 8.30pm. With the number of people coming, I opted to book Gypsy Platters to create a sweet and savoury grazing table. In 45 minutes, my dining table had been transformed with layers of all manner of goodness. BEST. MOVE. EVER. That table was grazed upon all afternoon. I do love making a platter (tips HERE) but with the numbers I was hosting, it was less stressful and more economical to outsource.
3. Think about decorations, flowers and other decor pieces that can help set the scene. This isn’t for everyone but this is something I like doing.
Flowers: Francesca’s Flowers
4. Have an esky or fridge storage space nearby to hold the bottles of Champagne bought by guests. Depending on the number of guests, this can be a lot!
5. Supply water/mineral water. I’m all for responsible alcohol serving so appreciate this when I go to other people’s places for gatherings or parties.
6. Supply Champagne flutes – enough for all guests, with some extras as spare.
7. Each guest brings a bottle of Champagne retailing at $50 or more. The host will generally also have a couple of “back ups” on hand in case that guests don’t want the party to finish 🙂 I was also on the receiving end of some beautiful gifts from guests, from handmade caramel slice through to homemade lemon curd and a Champagne and strawberries candle. I was incredibly touched and noted to self the need to up my hostess gift game.
8. Select a Champagne that you would not normally buy. This has been such a fun thing to do and experience. I’ve tried lots of different Champagnes now, Champagne I wouldn’t have even thought to try because I previously just reached for the familiar. Look for different offerings in independent bottle shops or somewhere like Vintage Cellars. The big names can have wide selections but the gems will be found in the smaller outlets. A few years ago, the Australian Champagne import market was dominated by the big guns, the Champagne house we always associate with Champagne. Increasingly we’re seeing a wider offering.
I picked up this one from Vintage Cellars
9. A Champagne can only be French and from the Champagne region but you might want to mix it up from time to time. There is talk that our next club meet will all be about Australian sparklings, with the aim of finding some pretty amazing local drops. I wouldn’t mind doing an Italian theme either.
10. Enjoy the moment. There is something so special about like-minded women coming together over a shared interest. The laughs will be plenty and the bottle line-up will be impressive.
So tell me, is a Champagne club for you? Are you in any other kind of club? Book club? Crochet club?