House Parties Turn Wine Into Fruit Of The Money Vine

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Remember when you'd have guests over for dinner and one might bring a bottle of wine? Now instead of asking whether to pick up white or red, they might ask if they can get a case discount, thanks to a relatively new phenomenon: the house wine party.

These parties aren't wine tastings thrown by enthusiasts. Instead, they are variations on sell-at-home get-togethers, according to the BBC. People host friends and acquaintances and serve wine that the guests can then buy.

The basic concept isn't new, says Women's Day. For years, people have been selling food containers, makeup, chocolate, bras, kitchen equipment, pet goods, and jewelry. The concept is that in a relaxed atmosphere and some degree of trust of dealing with people they know, the guests will open their wallets and place orders. The hosts make a commission and start a small business without many of the start-up costs.

Wine parties don't work exactly the same way. States have strict laws on the sale of wine and require licenses, which the average person won't be able to get. So instead of taking money and sending bottles home with the guests, the hosts take orders and pass them on to the wine company. For some, those orders can really add up, as the BBC reported.

"What I wanted at the beginning was just a product. I didn't want to have to have an inventory. I didn't want to have to deliver it. I didn't want to have to deal with bounced checks," said [35-year-old mother of two Diane] Nozik, who now earns more than six figures from her work for WineShop at Home. "I just wanted something that people would like. That it would be fun. That it would be consumable. And that describes a wine tasting. There's a party."

WineShop at Home is only one of the firms that will take the orders, collect the money, send out the wine, and provide you with the commissions. Others include Boisset Wine Living and Traveling Vineyard. But don't expect this to be an effort-free business. Like any other, there are considerations. High income means successful selling, and that's work. Also, not all states allow companies to deliver wine via mail, according to the Wine Institute. Some even consider mailing wine to a resident a felony.
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