Heard It Through the Grapevine

Trey Green Guild wine

The Trey Green Guild personalizes wine and wine glasses as a part of its fundraiser.

Looking for a twist on your guild's previous events? Consider the ideas we've "heard through the grapevine" about how including wine can help you increase your fundraising profits and add new energy to a luncheon, dinner, auction or party.

Wine pull

Wrap a variety of wines in colorful paper and host a blind wine pull. Guests pay a set fee for each bottle. Get creative and add a theme such as "Spicy Reds" or "Summer Whites." Note: the set fee must be equal to or above the manufacturer's cost (what it cost the manufacturer to produce the wine, not the retail purchase price) of the most expensive bottle.

Ring toss

Set out a variety of wines on a low table or the floor and invite guests to purchase tickets for rings to toss on the wine bottles. When a ring lands around a bottle neck, the guest wins the wine. As in a wine pull, the fee for one ring must be equal to or above the manufacturer's cost of producing the most expensive bottle.

Wine as a silent auction item

Wine catches the eye in a silent auction. Pair a restaurant gift certificate or a box of chocolates with a bottle of wine to encourage additional bidding.

Drinks for the table

Kick off your live auction by offering guests the opportunity to bid on drinks for their table. A wine flight or a platter of cocktails can be a popular auction item. "We sold two platters of cocktails as the first two items in our live auction," says We Believe Guild member Darcy Hollie. "We themed the cocktails to match our event and added special glasses and stir sticks. We were blown away by how much money the platters raised. It was a fantastic way to get the party going with minimal effort and cost."

"Instant wine cellar" auction item

Ask each of your guild members to bring a bottle of wine to a guild meeting and then package the lot as an "instant wine cellar" for your live or silent auction. Use your imagination and choose a fun way to display the wine. For example, the Vala Youngquist Guild sells a "Wheelbarrow of Wine" in its live auction; for the Imagine Guild Wine Collection, guild members sign the bottles they contribute. Note: no more than 16 bottles of wine can be sold to any one person at one time.

Personalize, personalize, personalize

Guests often attend guild events because of their personal connections with guild members. Personalize your wine packages with guild members' tasting notes, or include pairing notes and recipes. A bottle of wine and movie tickets may sell better if the package is themed as a specific guild member's "favorite Friday night date."


Use a bottle of wine, port or champagne as your centerpiece at each table and invite guests to bid on the bottle.


When guests purchase a sealed bottle of alcohol in any of the above examples, it is a "to-go" item and may not be consumed on the premises.

Reminder: Special Occasion License

If you serve or sell alcohol at your event, you will need a special occasion license issued by the Washington State Liquor Control Board. The license application needs to be filed 45 days prior to your event and costs $60. Read more about how to apply for a license (and a banquet permit, when applicable).