This is a fun addition to any fundraiser that allows attendees to donate to your cause and walk away with a bottle of wine.
Guests purchase a random, wrapped bottle of wine that is potentially much more expensive than the purchase price.
How Does it Work?
Before you start organizing your wall of wine, you need to gather a wine collection (about 30 bottles for every 50 people attending). They should be a good variety of type and quality. If you are purchasing the wine, most bottles should be mid-to-low-range in quality, with a smaller percentage being high-end. A good price point for wine is around $25 per bottle.
Once you have the wine, you will need to wrap the bottles to hide the brand. Typically, bottles are wrapped in craft paper with a ribbon around the bottle neck. However, you can get creative by wrapping them to match the theme of the event, or in costumes to match the cause you are supporting.
These bottles will need to be neatly displayed for the attendees to see and pull from. They can be placed on a table, or stocked in a wine wall. It is best to keep the collection organized by red and white wines, and include a sheet in your display with the kinds of wine guests could win, as well as the companies that provided you with them. It is best to offer a holding place for purchased wine bottles, so guests don’t have to carry around their prizes for the rest of the evening.
Set up a table between guests and your display so nothing gets tipped over or moved — volunteers can collect funds and hand over the selected bottle, or mark the bottle with the bidder number to be picked up at checkout.
Variations And Other Names
There are many varieties on the wall of wine (WOW, Wine Pull, Wine Wall) that you can use to spice up your fundraising event even further. Some of these include:
Up the Stakes: Host a wine collection evening. Rather than each attendee purchasing one bottle, they will buy raffle tickets for around $10-15. First place winner goes home with 20 bottles; second place with 15; and third place with 10.
Wine & Beer Pull: Take advantage of the increasing popularity of craft beers by including beer in your collection. From there, you can either assign a fixed price for both drinks, or offer two separate tickets ($15 for beer, $25 for wine, etc.). Or, your audience may prefer beer where you could provide 99 bottles of beer on the wall.
Spin the bottle: Place a wine bottle in the middle of a table, with wrapped wine bottles in a circle surrounding it. Let your guests buy a spin, and whichever wine the bottle lands on is theirs.
Ring toss: Utilize this classic carnival game by placing wine bottles in a box. Attendees can purchase several ring tosses for a fixed price ($25-30), and win whatever bottles of wine their rings land on.
Special Prizes: Tape special prizes on the bottoms of some of the bottles (vineyard tours, wine tasting tickets, etc.). This is a great incentive for your guests to participate in the Wine Pull or buy more than one bottle.
Unwrapped: Don’t wrap the wine bottles. Wall of Wine is particularly successful if you have been able to obtain a lot of high quality wine. Assign each bottle a number, and then place wine corks with matching numbers in a container. Attendees pay a fixed price ($20-30), pull a cork out at random, and win that wine.
- Acquiring all this wine can seem intimidating, but don’t worry. This event is a great opportunity to get a local winery, restaurant, or distributor involved by either donating or sponsoring.
- If you’re unable to procure a lot of donations, you can host a pre-event wine tasting party with some core members of your board and committee. Everyone will bring a bottle to share and a bottle to save for the event. This is a great way to build excitement leading up to the event and help stock your collection!
- Display and location are extremely important to the success of Wall of Wine. It must be placed in a high traffic, high-energy location and have a fun, visual display that attracts energy and attention.
- Include a few bottles of $75+ wines or one bottle of Dom Perignon and promote the potential winning value to attract even more interest.
- Tie a mission to the Wall of Wine Pull. For example, “This $25 donation gets you a bottle of wine AND provides 5 meals for a family at our shelter.” How could anyone say no to that?!
- Be careful what you promise. If you state a minimum value on the bottles of wine, be sure that each donated bottle truly has that minimum value. Fact check pricing online. Here’s one good source: www.wine-searcher.com.
Some Personal Insight from Elaine
At our Wine Women & Shoes Nashville event, the first year they had one WOW with 100 bottles and sold out in 45 minutes! Year two, they added a second WOW, one red and one white wine, and sold out again, this time in 60 minutes! Year three, they added a champagne WOW for a total of 300 bottles and $6,000 net revenue, with fairly minimal effort.
This article is part of our 26 Proven Revenue Enhancers for Your Fundraiser eBook available as a free download. If you looking for new revenue enhancing ideas and how to incorporate them into your event—this easy-to-use lookbook is for you.