It is not what's in your glass, it's who you share it with.
That is the unofficial mantra of Winos R Us, an event-driven Meetup.com social club centered on wine. The 2-year-old group finds its members through this networking site, then arranges social and informative wine-based events around San Diego County - all in an unpretentious atmosphere.
"I always get told that we are the friendliest group," said Karen Moy, group leader for the last year. "It can be a little daunting to show up at any event for the first time. This is the type of group where someone will come up and say 'hello.'"
Wine novices and veteran vinophiles alike enjoy the diverse culture of Winos R Us.
Most of the members are single and between the ages of 30 and 50, but some couples are also regulars at the events - anyone is welcome.
William Morton is an original member of the group. He sampled other wine clubs around town, but decided that he liked Winos best.
"Its all about the social aspect of tasting different wines," Morton said.
When it comes to organizing each event, Moy takes a hands-on approach.
"I personally meet with the managers and owners of venues to develop relationships," she said. "We are known for going to places, from casual to upscale, that people may not have tried before."
The group meets every two to three weeks.
In August, the Winos gathered for a screening of the wine-based film "Bottle Shock."
Following the show, Baizer and his wife Diane joined the Winos R Us post party at The Bamboo Lounge in Hillcrest where members discussed the film while enjoying Plate Licker wines from Australia.
The only negative comment Moy has received about Winos R Us is the sometimes unfavorable connotation linked to the word "winos." She initially considered changing it, but felt the whimsical nature of the word was meaningful to the group's relaxed style.
"We are trying to get across that we are not wine snobs," Moy said.
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2007 Kim Crawford Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc
13% alcohol, 91 points
$18 at BevMo
The 2007 version followed in the footsteps of the remarkable 2006. This light to medium bodied wine exhibits grapefruit and lime peel prominently, with the unmistakable grassiness that shows through in all Marlborough wines. The acidity in this wine forms the backbone for a fresh, crisp experience. I sometimes think grilled fish salad with sauvignon blanc, but a sweet bacon-wrapped pan seared scallop would be absolutely stunning here.
- Mark Stuart, "The San Diego Wine Guy"