Member Rules

This document captures the why, where and how Winetasters operates to provide members with unique, affordable tastings.  As well it outlines members responsibilities.

Winetasters Society of Toronto Rules

Winetasters Society of Toronto (“the Club”) is a non-profit corporation that conducts wine and other tastings, dinners, and other related events to further its members’ appreciation of wine, fortified wine, and occasionally spirits and beer. It also carries out activities relating to the promotion of the Club and its events, the raising of funds to support its activities, and for the recruitment of members. The Club’s operations are governed by a volunteer Board and carried out by Directors and other volunteers.

This document sets out the main operational details for the Club.

Wine Events & Cellar

  1. The Club holds nine Wine Tasting Events each year and one Holiday Wine Tasting The Club normally holds one tasting a month between September and June. Beginning with the 2022 Holiday Party, events are being held at
  1. The Wine Tasting Events are held normally on the fourth Wednesday of each month, from September through June. The dress code is casual. Event venues have limited capacity, and also a limited quantity of wine available. Members have priority over non-members should capacity be reached. For most events, there is a guest speaker.
  1. Except for the Holiday Event, tastings normally consist of 8 tasting size pours for each participant in a “single blind” format. For most events, there is an additional 9th tasting size pour for a mystery wine. Fortified wine or spirits tastings would normally involve fewer or smaller pours. Food is not usually provided. Water and bread are provided for palate cleansing.
  1. Except for the Holiday Event, the Club budgets for 50 attendees at a red Wine Tasting Events and three bottles of each of the nine wines are acquired for each event.  For white Wine Tasting Events the Club budgets for 40 attendees and two bottles of each of the nine wines are acquired. Tasting pours are about 1 1/8th oz. so that each 26 oz. bottle provides 20 – 22 pours with allowance for decanting, sediment etc. and there is a spare bottle to allow for the possibility of a corked bottle. Wine may be acquired for the event several years in advance of the event. Any bottles not used are usually set aside for the annual Holiday Event. The Board continuously reviews the pricing and purchasing to ensure that we “right-size” for future tastings.
  1. Wine Tasting Events are priced on a cost-recovery basis, based on the actual historical cost of the wines being Tastings do not normally cost more than $150. Guests are charged a premium: a minimum of $25; the premium would normally be higher when the current market value of the wines significantly exceeds our historic cost.
  1. Wine is purchased for future tastings of the Club on the recommendation of a Buying Committee which is a subcommittee of the Board. Wine is stored in a secure environmentally controlled facility. The cellar is managed by the Board and consists of approximately 3,000  bottles.
  1. From time to time the Club holds Wine Dinner Events at various Toronto Wine tasting dinners are usually done on a pure direct cost-recovery basis. So event fees per member/guest reflect the actual full cost per seat from the venue (including tip, corkage, etc.) plus the historical cost of any wine provisioned from the Winetasters cellar, plus the cost of any wine purchased for the event. The Club never guarantees the number of seats so there is no risk of a shortfall and the cost recovery budget can be explicitly set at cost without a cushion to meet a guaranteed minimum.
  1. The annual Holiday event is a cash raiser.  The primary source of wines for the event is wines purchased for the other Wine Tasting Events but not consumed at the tasting. This is supplemented either from purchases at auction, current or recent offerings by consignment agents or LCBO. This allows the Club to convert this part of the cellar to cash for reinvestment in future tastings.


  1. Prospective New Members shall fill in a New Member Application form available on the Club website.
  2. The following procedure applies to prospective new Members:
    • A New Member Application form available on the Club website must be submitted along with payment of your annual dues.
    • A New Member must be of legal drinking age in Ontario at the time of application.
  3. Members will conduct themselves and will cause their Guests to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with accepted rules of etiquette and speech at Club events. Conduct and behavior of members and their guests that is detrimental to the best interests of the Club may subject the member to sanctions such as being denied access to one or more events.
  4. The Board may cancel the membership of anyone whose conduct is not in the sole discretion of the Board acceptable.


  1. The financial year for the Club shall be July 1 to June 30.
  2. The entrance fee for each financial year shall be set by the Board and is due on acceptance of the member’s application by the Board. At the present time, there is no entrance fee.
  3. An annual fee for each financial year shall be set by the Board and is due on or before the September tasting for that year. No member in default may attend a Club event as a member.
  4. Event fees for members and their guests shall be set by the Board for each event and fees must be paid before attending an event.
  5. Members will be billed such additional amounts incurred by the Club for payments to the club that are not honored or for damages to personal property or injury.
  6. The requirement of paying an annual fee may be waived by the Board for members who have provided at least three years of service to the Club as a Director or in another Volunteer capacity with respect to Wine Tasting Events and maintenance or improvements to the Club Cellar.
  7. The requirement of paying an event fee may be waived or reduced by the Board for Wine Event speakers and their guests, directors, volunteers assisting in events, and other wine VIPs. As a thank you, the guest speaker may receive a gift card, dinner, or hotel accommodation.
  8. At the discretion of the Board, Member rates for Wine Events may be extended to non-members such as other wine clubs and their members, wine writers, and other wine VIPs.
  9. A Member whose entrance fee, annual fees, event fees other Member charges are more than three months in arrears shall forfeit their Membership.
  10. A Member who has elected to pay the non-resident annual fee may not attend any event at the member price.
  11. A Member whose entrance fee, annual fees, event fees other Member charges are in arrears may not vote.
  12. All fees, dues and other charges not paid within 60 days of the due date shall bear interest from the due date at a nominal annual rate set from time to time by the Board, currently equal to the rate 15% per annum.
  13. Financial schedules as of June 30 of the preceding financial year shall be presented at the Annual Meeting.


  1. The Club by-laws provide for management by a Board of Directors who receive no recompense.
  2. The Directors meet once per month from September through June for club business and event planning. Where applicable, the Director hosting the meeting is reimbursed for reasonable out-of-pocket costs for each meeting.
  3. Directors and other volunteers are directly involved in the planning and execution of Wine Tasting Events including logistics, securing an appropriate speaker, and set up and dismantling of the event itself.
  4. Directors and other volunteers are reimbursed for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred for Wine Tasting Events or Cellar purchases or Cellar maintenance.
  5. Policies for reasonable out-of-pocket costs are determined from time to time by the Board and documented in the Board Claims for these costs must be made on a form available to Directors on the Club website. Claims not made within 60 days of the costs being incurred will not be paid unless they were approved in advance by the Board.

Licenses and Other

  1. Consumption of alcoholic beverages at Club Events will at all times be governed by the laws and regulations of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
  2. Permits will be obtained for wine events as required by AGCO.
  3. Members are responsible for ensuring that their guests are of legal drinking age.

Personal Property and Injury

  1. Any Member, Guest, or another person who, in any manner, makes use of or accepts the use of any apparatus, appliance, facility, privilege or service in or at a Club Event or community amenities provided by the Club, shall do so at such person’s own Each such person shall hold the Club, and its respective directors, officers, employees, representatives, and agents harmless from any and all loss, cost, claim, injury, damage or liability sustained or incurred by such person. Each Member hereby accepts responsibility with respect to any such loss, cost, claim, injury, damage, or liability sustained or incurred by any Guest of the Member.
  2. The Club shall not be responsible for any loss or damage to any personal property at any of the event venues or the related community No personal property of a Member may be stored by the Club.
  3. Each Member shall be liable for any property damage or personal injury at a Club Event or related community amenities caused by such Member or such Member’s guest(s). The cost of any damage shall be invoiced to the Member at the discretion of the Directors.
  4. A Member shall be liable to the Club and their directors, officers, employees, representatives, or agents for all costs and expenses incurred in the defense of any unsuccessful claim brought by the Member against same, including reasonable fees and expenses.

2022 -2023

Annual dues are $100 + $13 HST or $113 per person per year ending June 30. Each event is priced separately and is in addition to the annual membership fee.

Ticket sales/registrations are final. However, if the event is completely sold out and we have a waiting list, then we will issue a refund.