V. Pompous Toadus
Our Official Mascot

Welcome to Pompous Twits!

Once upon a time, on a lily pad not far away... okay, so it was a wine shop, circa 1990... an idea was born that would bring together an eclectic gathering of folks from many walks of life who had a love of fermented grape juice.  I, V. Pompous Toadus, am honored to have served as muse for the founders of this disparate group. 

It was found that there were Others scattered among the general population with similar weird propensities, who heard the faint croak of the founders and who then did flock to the gatherings.  Structured but informal, these meetings proved to be a place where they could espouse the truths of their individual palates without fear.  A place where both the most gregarious and the modestly meek could be Pompous Twits of the First Order. 

Read on to see how it works....

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Pompous Twits: The Way it Works
Communication Over the Internet

Time and Place

Host Responsibilities
Host Benefits
BYOB Events

Information and Handouts
Pompous Twits: The Way it Works

Since 1990, the workings of the Pompous Twits have evolved in a natural way. No one person or committee decided how it would work. These days, coordination of Pompous Twits tastings and events happens almost entirely by email or by way of this website. All tastings are on a volunteer basis and nearly all of the following year's hosts are selected at the December tasting and calendar meeting. At the meeting, participants can volunteer for a given month, either as a solo host or in cahoots with other Twits. If the volunteers have a theme in mind, they can state it at that time, or decide later.

For any given month, the host generally obtains all of the wine for the tasting and notifies the de facto coordinator (see below) by email or by telephone with details for the event, such as specifics about the theme (if any) and might provide a list of the wines that will be tasted.  In lieu of purchasing all the wine, a host might might choose to do a "BYOB" tasting, with or without a theme.  If for any reason a host must drop out and is unable to fulfill their hosting duties, the coordinator will petition the membership to see who is willing to step forward and assume hosting duties for the month in question.

Although some Pompous Twits have been around since its origins at the old Vintage Wine Cellar in Hayward back in 1990, there is no fixed membership and new oenophiles or people wanting to learn more about wines are always welcome, provided there is room (that is, sufficient wine) at any of our tastings. There are no dues and there is no formal membership beyond the mailing list. 

Communication via the Internet
Tom Regner and Susan Mountain maintain the email mailing list, and also does most of the announcements prior to a tasting, as well as posting a web page (if there is sufficient time) about the event. The current calendar is maintained and made available on the web.
To contact all Pompous Twits members, email Tom and he will forward it along without revealing email addresses to the group.

Time & Place
The majority of Pompous Twits events are "hosted" tastings, held on the third Saturday of each month at 6:30 pm.  Hosts may elect to hold tastings at a place of their choosing, such as their home or at another venue of their choosing.  Again, the default venue information is:
  • Third Saturday of the Month
  • 6:30 PM
  • Host's choice of venue

Host Responsibilities
Hosting is done on a volunteer basis.  The overall calendar for the year is decided at a special Pompous Twits Planning Dinner in December of each year.  Potential hosts negotiate for any given month during the year, and generally pick a theme for the tasting.

Themes may include (but aren't limited to):

  • Wines by appellation (Napa, Rhone, Tuscany, etc.) 
  • Wines by grape variety and/or year
  • Wines by type (e.g., dessert wines, aperitifs)
  • Double-blind tastings
  • Educational
  • Themes are announced by email and on the calendar after the planning dinner, if necessary.  Hosts should notify Tom Regner or Susan Mountain when themes are either decided upon or changed.

    A couple of weeks prior to the tasting, hosts should begin soliciting confirmations from Twits or other guests so that an accurate headcount can be obtained.  Solicitation is now done exclusively by email, and should include an RSVP. 

    Host Benefits
    In most cases, hosts do all the research, legwork and purchasing of the wines for the tasting.  Hosts also bring all the wine to the tasting and see to it that it is opened, bagged, divided into flights, or whatever else might be needed to start the wines moving around the table(s).

    All of this work is compensated by charging the attending Twits for the tasting, such that the total dollar amount for the opened wine is recovered by the host.  The host need only pay his or her share of the corkage (see BYOB Events, below) or tips.  At present, there are no guidelines regarding maximum charges for wine, but hosts are asked to use some discretion so that events stay within reason.  It is also recommended that the host give members some notice if the wine costs per person will exceed $25 (not including corkage and tips) as a courtesy.

    BYOB Events
    Some events are BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle), rather than hosted.  For BYOBs, a member will take on the "host" duties, except for supplying all the wine.  This can include notifying folks, collecting RSVPs, settling with the restaurant. 

    Information and Handouts
    Whatever a host might want to provide to the group at the tasting in the way of handouts relating to the theme, tasting notes and ranking sheets, or other information, is up to the individual hosts.  It has varied from multiple pages of info to nothing. 

    On the other hand, it is a nice gesture if you write up a little summary message or report to distribute after the tasting.  One could either take notes, or collect them from others and summarize, or whatever.

    Any advance information that a host would like to share can be sent via email to Pompous Twits  so that it can be posted to the web site.  Tom or Susan will update the appropriate web page and let everyone know by way of email.  The same holds true for any subsequent information (tasting summaries, notes, wine ranking, etc.) that might be interesting. 

    The absolute, MOST IMPORTANT thing to remember about any Twits tasting is to HAVE THE MOST FUN POSSIBLE!

    That, and the fact that -- "A Twit Don't Spit"!


    Website maintained by Susan Mountain & Tom Regner

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