FB wine club is thriving
By Hoyt Smith
An enterprising mother of three in Scripps Ranch has founded the Scripps Ranch Wine Club, a social media group created to bring local women closer together in these times of isolation and division.
Katie Schmidt – a resident of Scripps Ranch who grew up here, went to Scripps Ranch High School and moved back to Scripps Ranch five years ago to care for her parents – founded the club on Facebook “to create some connections in the community during this season that we’re all going through right now,” she said.
According to Schmidt, the Scripps Ranch Wine Club is similar to groups in other parts of California, including The Ladies Wine Club of Fallbrook in San Diego County.
“It turns out that they have women’s clubs like this all over the place. This is a pretty common thing, I guess, but it seems to be perfect for a tight-knit community like Scripps Ranch,” she said.
Schmidt started the club on May 20 and within a week there were 500 members.
“It grew very quickly, and we had to cap any new growth until we can catch up with the momentum,” she said. “I’m hoping we can add more members as soon as possible.”
As with many people, Schmidt was recently laid off and had to shelter in place with her family for an extended period because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Honestly, the idea for the wine club really came out of me feeling lonely and isolated and desiring connection,” she said.
Here’s how the club works: when a new woman joins they are asked to write about themselves, including biographical information, favorite activities and the kind of “self-care goodies” they would enjoy receiving, so that the club members can get to know one another. They also submit their address, choose another member to “wine and dash” and then assemble a wine gift basket and secretly leave on another member’s porch (acting as a “wine fairy,” Schmidt said.)
Once members receive a wine basket, they delete their address from the list and post a picture of their basket with the hashtag #winefairycame.
It doesn’t have to be a wine basket. Some members may prefer spirits, hard cider or even a non-alcoholic beverage. Schmidt said the typical gift basket will also include items such as a scented candle, some chocolate, perhaps some hand lotion or moisturizer, and maybe even a face mask.
Many of the members came from Schmidt’s connections with Scripps Ranch Pop Warner and Cheer Association. Her 13-year-old daughter has been involved with that organization, said Schmidt, who also has a four-year-old daughter and a 16-year-old son.
“I think a lot of people have made connections (through the wine club) with people they wouldn’t have met otherwise,” she said. “And it’s all been done through social media. My vision is to have a wine tasting gathering, or maybe a Temecula wine tour together. I can see this being a great bond after some of these restrictions are lifted. There’s obviously a need for it.”
For more information, contact Katie Schmidt at firstname.lastname@example.org.