Smoky Mountain Chapter of the American Wine Society (SMC-AWS) Chapter Guidelines March, 2015
Our Chapter exists to explore, analyze and enjoy wine from a wide variety of regions, fruits and vintners. We meet approximately on a monthly basis to provide wine education in a relaxed, social setting. We often pair food with wines to increase understanding of the wine, the food and that partnership. We support the American Wine Society Educational Foundation through the Smoky Mountain Chapter Scholarship Foundation.
We eagerly welcome new members and the experiences and resources they provide the Chapter. Each member of the Smoky Mountain Chapter (SMC) is required to be a member in good standing of the American Wine Society (AWS). We welcome potential members and guests. They may attend up to three SMC-AWS before becoming an American Wine Society Member. After their three guest meetings they must join the SMC-AWS in order to attend any future meetings. Members are expected to contribute their energies and talents to the ongoing success of the Chapter. That may include but is not limited to hosting events, supporting other hosts in the success of their events, taking on projects as requested by the officers and assuming officer positions as new terms occur. Members must pay their annual American Wine Society dues. They are due, annually, to National AWS by March 1. Failure to pay dues on time means that the member will no longer appear on the SMC-AWS roster or receive Chapter or AWS National mailings. Membership is reinstated upon payment of annual dues. Those dues are NOT paid to the Chapter but to AWS National. National AWS has a membership requirement all members must be aware of: Members who lapse their National membership, by virtue of not paying their dues, are not allowed to attend future tastings as guests; they are, however, welcome to renew their membership at any time. Members receive communications from the American Wine Society and the SMC Chapter primarily through e-mail. Members may provide their email address to AWS to receive National communications and to the SMC Director of Communication to receive correspondence from the Chapter. As occurs at the National level, each member included in an AWS membership is entitled to one vote on each matter submitted to a vote of the members.
AWS-SMC Chapter Guidelines March 2015 Page 2 of 5
Members can access information about upcoming tasting events via the SMC Chapter website including cost to attend the tasting. Members are assured a space at the tasting when their check is received by the Treasurer. If the member must cancel their participation in the tasting AND their space can be given to another member or guest, their check will be refunded. If the member’s space cannot be given to another member or guest their check will be added to the treasury. Special consideration may be given to cancellations that occur as a result of an extenuating circumstance such as a death in the family. Members may invite guests to attend tastings. Guests are placed on a waiting list until 1 week before the tasting. Any seats at the tasting not secured by members (by virtue of a paid reservation) are available for those guests in the order in which they were placed on the waiting list. Members are not to make any promise of space at the tasting until they have heard from the event host that space is available.
Officers are key to the successful operation of the SMC-AWS. Five officer positions make up the executive committee of the Chapter: Chairperson, Immediate Past Chairperson, Director of Communication, Treasurer and Program Chairperson. Only the Chapter Chair is an elected position. Officers serve in two year terms and continue their service until they have prepared a capable successor. No two offices are held by the same person though a married couple who are, as a couple, members of AWS National, may share an officer position. Officer terms begin January 1 and terminate December 31. In the event an officer position is vacated between terms, the Chairperson may appoint a member as an interim officer to fill that vacated position and to serve the balance of that officer’s term. The interim officer is then eligible for two year terms. If they choose to take the role, they remain in that role until they have prepared a capable successor. No compensation is paid to any Officer (or AWS-SMC member) for any reason with the exception of expenses incurred by them in the performance of their duties. Each officer regularly seeks out potential successors and engages them in conversations that can, over time, facilitate that outcome, if needed, at the end of their term. Each officer must prepare a capable successor in order to vacate their office.
The Chairperson presides at all meetings of the membership and convenes meetings of the Executive Committee. The Chairperson may appoint committees from the membership, from time to time, to assist in the conduct of the affairs of the SMC-AWS. S/he may also appoint individual members to fulfil specific functions as required by the needs of the Chapter. S/he is the main contact point for the Chapter from AWS national. S/he has the support of the AWS Regional Vice President for Eastern Tennessee, when that position is filled at the National level. Once their term is completed and they have prepared a capable successor, they generally assume the role of Immediate Past Chair.
Past Chair may act in the stead of the Chairperson for any reason including absence or disability. This Past Chairperson is ideally the immediate past Chairperson though any previous Chairperson may serve in this capacity. The purpose is to assure institutional memory term over term and depth of capability of the executive committee. S/he supports the Chairperson as the Chapter and the Chairperson require. Once their term is completed, they generally relinquish their officer role to the outgoing Chairperson.
AWS-SMC Chapter Guidelines March 2015 Page 3 of 5
Director of Communication maintains membership records, records of Chapter communications and issues a newsletter of up-coming SMC-AWS functions. S/he is the main point of communication between the Chapter Officers and the membership. S/he maintains regular communication with the AWS-SMC web master, assuring current information is available for posting on the website and that expired information is identified for removal in a timely fashion. The Director of Communication provides information to others supporting our social media presence (such as Facebook). Once their term is completed and they have prepared a capable successor, they relinquish their role.
The Treasurer maintains financial records of the Chapter. S/he receives member payments for participation in Chapter events, the amount of which is a close approximation of the costs anticipated for the event. S/he collects receipts from event hosts and based on those, issues reimbursement checks to event hosts immediately after each event. The Treasurer maintains tasting attendance records. S/he presents a Treasurer’s report at each SMC-AWS function, either personally or through a delegate who has sufficient knowledge of the report to answer questions from the membership. Once their term is completed and they have prepared a capable successor, they relinquish their role. The Treasurer maintains records of the Chapter’s contributions to the AWS Educational Foundation separately and distinctly from the Chapter’s general finances. Fees for AWS-SMC events all carry a small surcharge which generates funds for the Chapter’s contributions to the Educational Foundation. The Treasurer, may from time to time, recommend that fees assessed for events have a small additional fee associated to provide the Chapter with funds to cover costs of administering mailings, purchase of glassware, honorariums to speakers and for other Chapter administrative functions.
The Program Chairperson provides guidance and support to AWS-SMC event hosts. S/he should be experienced in conducting tastings, hosting events and managing the logistics of both. Once their term is completed and they have prepared a capable successor, they relinquish their role.
AWS-SMC CHAPTER ACTIVITIES
The AWS-SMC holds a wine-related function most every month. Each wine-related function is hosted by an AWS-SMC member in good standing who is accountable for the planning of, and logistics associated with, that function. All members are expected to host or co-host a tasting at least once in two years. Members are encouraged to co-host a tasting with an experienced host before they attempt their own tasting. Members may host as many functions as they are comfortable managing in a given time frame. Wine-related functions are planned on an annual basis. Each tasting is advertised to the membership 4-8 weeks in advance of the tasting. The planning and event logistics for which the host is accountable must be ready for that advertising not less than 4 weeks before the tasting.
AWS-SMC Chapter Guidelines March 2015 Page 4 of 5
AWS-SMC CHAPTER ACTIVITIES, continued
4-8 weeks in advance of the tasting:
• On receiving the AWS glassware from previous event host, clean and sanitize AWS glassware for their upcoming event.
• Determination of date (mm/dd/yyyy), time and location for the event. Events may occur in a wide variety of settings – a member’s home, a restaurant, a public space, etc.
• Selection of a theme for the tasting such as varietal, region, year, vintner, etc.
• Purchase the wines and foods that will be provided by the host. AWS guidelines suggest the host plan no more than 16 ounces of wine per person served during the tasting.
• Define a deadline for members and/or guests to sign up for an event (generally 1 week before the event)
• Maintain a list of potential guests as members offer them. The list should indicate the order in which the guest was identified.
• Establishing the cost per member and/or the cost per guest for the tasting. That cost is an educated approximation of the actual costs the host will bear when providing the tasting. That includes any surcharge assigned by the Chapter for funding the AWS Educational Foundation. The treasurer can be a resource to the host in defining cost.
• Based upon the location for the tasting and the theme, the host determines the minimum and maximum number of attendees.
• Determination of foods, bread, cheese, etc to accompany the selected wine(s)
• Hosts provide / assure the provision of serving dishes, glassware, individual plates, napkins and silverware as necessary for the successful tasting.
• Assigning event attendees a variety of items they are to provide which might include an appetizer or dessert to accompany the wines or to share with other attendees at a post-tasting social.
• Provide the Director of Communication with the above information for the newsletter and other communications to the membership to promote the event.
1 week before the event
• Validate the attendance list on the website to determine the number of guests, if any, for whom you have space. Communicate with the members who placed guests on the waiting list to advise those for whom you have space and those for whom you do not have space.
• Create a hand-out for the tasting that supports wine education and evaluation. (AWS Tasting Evaluation tools are available on the AWS website). E-mail that handout to the tasting participants and ask them to bring the handout with them OR provide copies at the tasting to the participants.
• Assure, for every individual attending the event, you have seating and adequate glassware to support the tasting and the way in which you will present the wines.
• Arrange for the host of the next tasting event to retrieve any AWS glasses from you that you are using for this tasting.
AWS-SMC Chapter Guidelines March 2015 Page 5 of 5
Host Accountabilities, continued
Day of the Event
• Chill wines to appropriate serving temperatures, whites are generally served chilled (50 degrees F) and reds are generally served cooled (60 - 65 degrees F)
• Open red wines with sufficient breathing time before the tasting, generally 1-2 hours. Decant red wines as sediment, varietal or vintage dictate.
• Arrange for assistants, as needed, in pouring wine or serving food.
• Introduce each wine as it is poured providing education about it
• Facilitate a conversation with the attendees to understand their perceptions of the wine, identify favored wines and to increase the group’s knowledge of the wine.
• Provide prices of the wines, where and when they were purchased.
• At the conclusion of the event provide the host of the next Chapter event the glassware.
Within one week after the event
• Create a summary of the tasting and submit it to the Director of Communication who will provide that summary to the broader membership.
• Submit receipts for expenses to the treasurer for reimbursement.
• Assure the upcoming event host has the AWS glasses in order to clean and sanitize them for that upcoming event.
AWS National has created “The American Wine Society Manual” (copyright 1978) which offers great assistance in planning for an event. It is available on the SMC website.