• Place a "Pop Up" tasting room either inside a gallery or a venue seeking more exposure, which itself might be temporary, e.g. unleased space, generating greater awareness, or a traditional fundraising venue to produce income for non-profits, artisan wineries and the hosting venues (the event can certainly be held in a more conventional hotel meeting space).
  • Participate with an IRS designated nonprofit for which a temporary one day license would be pulled.
  • Pour wines at an event and solicit wine bids, based on the timeless principal of "try it then buy it".
  • Utilize the reception as an informal tasting panel for event wine sales or subsequent online sales.  In addition to or instead of offering tastings, the nonprofit temporary license holder may prefer to offer their guests wine by the glass at a bar or at dinner and dispense with a tasting format. 
  • Focus on previous vintages that have accumulated in wineries and warehouses due to the economic downturn and corresponding decrease in demand.   With the glut continuing, and current releases needing storage space, these wines, many of which have benefited from further aging, need to be taken out of inventory.  In many instances, there is too little of these former releases to justify remaining in the winery's portfolio and can be moved through  PAIRINGS, just as older vintages are currently discounted in the winery's tasting room or through special wine club offerings.
  • Alternatively or in addition, present current releases of unfamiliar wineries in unique spaces to further promotion of the winery and its wine(s) among higher income individuals, leading to future sales at better margins.  
  • The sampling of the wines being poured by winery staff or volunteers is geared toward (1) bidding or sales during or at the end of the event and (2) to help determine which wines should be offered for subsequent sale online.  
  • SALE OPTION.  The easiest way to raise funds. PAIRINGS /the Bay Area Wine Society  would offer wines showcased at the event for sale at a certain price, with an agreed upon percentage going to the nonprofit charity.  The winery would pay the sales tax.  In most instances the winery would conduct the sale at their table.
  • BIDDING PROCESS I: In most instances, buyers for off-premise consumption would follow the "Pay What You Want" format above a minimum bid (PWYW--see page 5). The differential between the cost and the bid, less a facilitation fee would go to the nonprofit.  The nonprofit taking out a temporary license or the winery would book the sale and pay the sales tax.  This sale amount consists of the payment paid to the winery, if any, and the amount donated to the charity less a $5 facilitation fee of sale price to PAIRINGS, a project of the Bay Area Wine Society (BAWS), for arranging the event, supplying stemware, etc, and expediting transactions in its capacity as a Third Party Provider authorized by the ABC.

For example, if a bottle from a winery has a suggested winery/retail price ("value") of $50 at time of release, it might have a cost of $25 (the 50% payment to the winery) and a minimum price set at $35 that includes a $5.00 facilitation fee to PAIRINGS and $5.00 to the nonprofit.  If the buyer offers $40 the nonprofit receives $10.00 net of the admin fee ($15 less the $5.00 fee) or close to 30% of the sale amount.  If the winery is reimbursed at a 65% rate=$32, and the wine sold at $45, the nonprofit would receive $8.   For donated wine that sold for, say, $35, the charity receives $29 with the facilitation fee staying constant at $5.00. Of course, paying closer to the minimum amount would result in the buyer being the primary beneficiary (see "Name you price" articles on this site that indicate this wouldn't happen with a charity involved). Or, conversely, a wine could be purchased at the "sticker price" (winery suggested retail) or higher if the buyer wishes more funds to go to the charity.

  • The transaction then occurs through an Internet Protocol enabled POS system using the Square, PayPal, Go Payment or other card swipe readers.   The buyer would add their email to the form enabling a receipt to be sent. If the PAIRINGS program proves successful several laptops or tablets, similar to an iPad, would be used as ad hoc kiosks to provide more information on the wines and the wineries as well as serve as Internet based self check-out devices complete with credit card swipers. Shipping arrangements could also be arranged if this is the preference of the buyer.
  • BIDDING PROCESS II  In addition to or in place of the wines being sold, a more conventional raffle and/or silent auction of donated items secured by supporters of the various charities or from the wineries (e.g., large bottles) could be held during the tasting portion of the event, or if no tasting is held, before during or after a fundraising dinner or reception.  If the participating wineries donate a bottle or two to this more standard silent auction, BIDDING PROCESS I would not be held.
  • ADDITIONAL UTILIZATION OF THE INTERNET:  To enable those who could not attend the tasting reception, as well as those who did, to purchase the wines sampled, orders could also be processed through the Internet utilizing Authorize.net, PayPal etcPAIRINGS, acting as a legal unlicensed Third Party Provider, would manage the transactions, ensuring the proper distribution of the donated proceeds. Sales could occur through three specific channels: (1) a PAIRINGS  website shopping cart; (2) a Facebook store--what has come to be known as fCommerce--largely because of the unsurpassed viral dimension of Facebook. An example of this application can be found on the ~Facebook Store~ page on this site;  (3) eBay with the beneficiary licensee or PAIRINGS acting on behalf of the winery offering the wines for the two week period following the event as authorized by the ABC.  eBay utilizes a Make Offer function to their Buy Now option which follows the PWYW approach described above. Click on the ~eBay Wine Sales~ tab to see an example.  Another online auction site, such as http://www.32auctions.com/  , could be utilized instead of eBay.
  • Adding to the "deal" is a possible tax deduction benefit for the buyers if the Fair Market Value is set below the Value at time of initial release.
  • VENUE POSSIBILITIES: (1) Art galleries and museums provide excellent sites for the tastings and purchase of wines, showcasing "art in the glass and on the wall."  An art gallery also benefits from the exposure among a greater number of discriminating Bay Area residents.  (2) Venues including new commercial and residential developments  marketing their space, are eager to bring traffic to their new building. (3) Pop Ups in currently empty spaces appeal to landlords. (4) Cafés and restaurants with wine and beer licenses that are closed at night could be opened for wine receptions benefiting different charities.
  • BENEFICIARY SELECTION: The participating wineries can choose the temporary license beneficiary. Or a specific nonprofit, solicited in part for their extensive list of members and "friends", can sponsor an event for their supporters and receive all the proceeds of the sales, including online sales.
  • STAFFING We can draw upon the students enrolled in a school's Culinary Arts program.  The beneficiary charities could also supply volunteers as would the Bay Area Wine Society and other Meetup.com groups. We have also worked with One Brick since they are also a 501(c)3 and could serve as our beneficiary via the raffling of bottles donated by the wineries or through the percentage arrangement. Groups like One Brick and Philanthro also allow the buyer/bidder to designate different beneficiaries via the order form (see PAIRINGS Store Example shopping cart)

  • Napa Valley College could be another early beneficiary organization and provide assistance with program logistics.
  • Allowing buyers to take the wines purchased with them or return for pickup is, in many instances, preferable to having them sent, since the packages must be signed for.  
  • STORAGE: We would partner with one fulfillment company which would store the wines to be sold for take away at the tasting or shipped if that is the preference of the buyer.  Unsold wines would be returned to storage for later events and possible online orders. Wineries pouring at the event might store and ship their wines from one fulfillment company.
  • Specialty food purveyors might also be invited to sample their gourmet foods for order, though not necessarily discounted. The non-profit supporters could assist with this outreach as well.  

  • Opportunities exist for a variety of sponsorships, particularly if similar events are held in other cities. This includes not only industry related products such as stemware manufacturers, but purveyors  seeking to promote their product to the wine industry. For example, a wine software company might donate several informational kiosks to facilitate sales both onsite and off.

Past Events / Beneficiaries
Our initial fundraiser Pop Up was held in 2012 in support of the work of Baykeeper.  This was followed in early summer by a benefit for the victims of the Japanese disaster with funds being processed through the Japanese Community and Cultural Center of Northern California  We are in discussions with several entities seeking exposure for their properties in downtown SF.  Expect an announcement soon on the particulars of these new pairings.

We launched a trial program at a fundraiser held at the Hub/SOMA for the Global Cocoa Project which seeks to provide cocoa farmers around the world with the tools they need to improve the quality of their cocoa production.  

We coordinated a Cabernet tasting and "Consumers Choice" competition held the last three Januarys partnering with Affairs of the Vine.  The beneficiary was One Brick which provides volunteers to charities needing temporary assistance for their projects.

Then back to the HUB for two events: a tasting was held for the launch of Black Girls Code , designed to enhance the opportunities for young women of color to move easily into Silicon Valley and the tech world in general. Subsequent fundraising wine sales were made on the Net. 

We showcased and took bids on wines at a reception for SOCAP Soul following a day of sessions organized by Social Capital Markets where people can come together to continue building a movement to achieve the intersection of money and meaning as imperative not only to business, but also to the participants families and neighbors, indeed for all people around the world in these difficult economic times.

Last year we participated in an
Arts in Dialogue Flamenco dance program sponsored by the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District.  We sold "Cal Span" wines by the glass for a $5 donation with the proceeds going to YBCBD for their community arts initiatives.  Many of our members turned out to help pour and enjoy the dancing.

June found us down at Cisco Systems in San Jose where we poured and donated wines and tasting room parties to raise funds to help purchase over 2,000 back to school backpacks for underprivileged kids though the Family Giving Tree program.

Several of our "urban wineries" also assisted with the SPUR (San Francisco Urban Research association) members fundraiser in June.

Primary Venues

We are now using a smaller ballroom in the Pickwick Hotel across the from the Old Mint and the historic 1925 larger ballroom in the Kensigton Park hotel on Post and Powell streets.

These downtown locations have a number of advantages: near BART, major Muni lines with adjacent parking garages allowing for visits to adjacent retail and cultural spaces.
Nonetheless we would like to use a Napa location if possible.