Bottle of Wine - home business idea wine tastings

I know this home business idea is definitely a weird one, but it’s a legitimate idea. And anyway, that’s what these types of posts are all about – the weird ones. BUT a friend of mine actually did this and built an amazing network of professionals (as wine drinkers tend to be), all while making money. Plus it was really fun for me tagging along on the shopping trips to those privately-owned stores with the MASSIVE imported beer sections. AND I learned that it’s not really that expensive to brand your own wine.

Anyway, by definition, an Oenophile is a connoisseur of wines. Are you talking about a Gary Vee type of thing? No. Not at all.

As far as a home business is concerned, I’m thinking of an Oenophile more as someone who organizes wine-tasting events. I’m not thinking of BIG, fancy shindigs that only come once or twice a year. I’m thinking of small, hip shindigs that happen once a month or once every other month.

That said, I know of a woman who just loves wine and earns a full-time income organizing wine tastings for wineries.

She actually sort of stumbled into this business.  She helped a friend with a wine tasting event once and found it was something at which she had a natural ability.  The winery she works with is a small local vintner just outside of a major Metro hub. She works with the winery to organize themed tastings on-site and at local venues (art museums, hipster hangouts, charity events).

So, how does one go about making organizing a wine tasting a legitimate home-based business? 

Well, first you have to know a good winery. Second, you need access to a varied selection of desserts and finger foods.  The Wine Taster uses connections she has with local candy makers and dessert makers for items like dark chocolates, cheesecakes and even full catered meals.  She also uses her charm and people skills to negotiate events with venue owners. She chooses venues that are in need of more exposure, or who are attempting to broaden their appeal and relevance.  As well, she partners with charitable organizations who can help to promote the event in exchange for a portion of the proceeds earned from ticket sales.

The Oenophile arranges most of the details of the event by phone or online. Since she knows the venues and knows the winery, she only has to show up a few days before the event to work out details with any live entertainment hired for the event.  For her services, she charges either a flat rate or a percentage of the total ticket sales – usually somewhere around 30% – 40%, depending on the size of the event.

  • Skills inventory:  Social skills, negotiating skills, flexibility, knack for drawing people, a bit of marketing savvy
  • Physical / virtual inventory: Computer, internet, phone
  • Launch cost: None
  • Marketing: Invest time building your social media community. Get an attractive website created and plan to invest in online advertising.  Build relationships with vintners by talking DIRECTLY to wineries. Consider starting a wine group on Meetup.com or Facebook… and perhaps look into organizing a fundraising event for a local non-profit organization. 

Need a few more ideas for your home-based business? I put together a whole list of them. Click here for home business ideas.