Americas Phoenix

IWFS of Phoenix 2014 FACTS

Frequently Asked Questions of the IWFS of Phoenix


What is the Mission of the International Wine and Food Society?

Our Mission today is to be the international, independent organization of choice for:

  • sharing, improving and disseminating knowledge of the pleasures of wine and food
  • gathering with like-minded people for the civilized and healthy enjoyment of wine and food
  • being involved with others in a branch based society with worldwide influence in matters of wine and food

What is the Board of Governors of the Americas (BGA)?

The IW&FS Branches are organized into three Zones:  Europe/Africa, Asia/Pacific, and the Americas.  The Board of Governors of the Americas (BGA) oversees branches through-out the Americasincluding the Caribbean.  The BGA publishes our quarterly journal, Wine, Food & Friends, organizes festivals and cruises for all members, and provides public liability insurance.


What are the membership requirements?

Membership in the Phoenix Branch is by invitation only. The Goal of our members is:

“To one day Host an event exclusively from their Cellar.”  


Prospective candidates


  • Must attend one gala dinner with spouse and at least 1 additional event as guests of one of the members before they can be considered for membership.
  • At least two active members should sponsor a prospective member.  If applicable, active members in another Branch where the prospect previously resided may also serve as sponsors.
  • Sponsoring members provide a biography of the Prospective Member to the Credentialer for approval and Branch review.
  • Members shall not be in the Wine, Food or Services industry.  If a member is in the industry or becomes affiliated with the industry after membership, the Branch will make every effort not to participate in that individuals business to maintain the autonomy of the Branch.
  • Prospective members are voted on by the Board and then by the Society.
  • New Members are on a probationary period during the first 12 months of their membership.
  • After the probationary period the new member can then propose others for membership.


What is the maximum number of members in the Branch?

Our By-Laws do not limit the number of members but our goal is to keep this an intimate society that can enjoy our cellared wines for many years to come.


What are the Branch dues and fees?

There is a one-time initiation fee for new members of $5,000.  Additionally, we have annual dues of $1,650 to continue to keep the best wines in our cellar.  These sums include BGA/IW&FS fees and dues.


What are the BGA/IW&FS fees and dues?

There is a one-time initiation fee of $30.  The annual dues are $89 which is included in our annual dues.


I would like to serve on the Board of Directors of the Branch.  What do I need to do?

The Branch prefers to have officers who have experienced at least 3 years as a member before being elected to a position of responsibility.  But please inform the current Bacchus and, in the interim, you may be considered for membership on one of our committees.


Are any of the Directors compensated in any way for serving on the Board?



At this time I am not able to serve on the Board of Directors.  What can I do to help the Branch?

-  Volunteer to be a dinner Chairman and host an event.

-  Sponsor and event though your cellar.

-  Provide access for wine purchases through your associations

-  Attend all or most of the events.

-  Reply to event notifications promptly and send in your payment on time.

-  Bring guests to the events.  They are the best source of new members.

-  Pay your dues promptly.


How many events are held every year?

We currently plan to hold 6 official events per year, and numerous "offline" events.


Are there a minimum number of events that members must attend each year?

At this time there is no minimum established.


How is the cost of the events determined?

The total of all expenses (wines, food, gratuities, corkage, and tax) is divided by the number of attendees to determine the cost per person.  The goal is for each event to “break-even”.  Occasionally, Branch funds are used to subsidize the cost of events for members.  Fine wine and food is not inexpensive, and prices have been constantly increasing.  For example, gratuities are now 18% - 22%, corkage $15 - $25 per bottle, tax 9+%.  Typically these items alone result in a cost of approximately $50 per person, before the food and wines.  We work very hard to control the cost of the events, while maintaining the high quality of the food and wines.



What is the Branch Wine Cellar?

The IWFS of Phoenix established a Branch Wine Cellar well over 30 years ago, along with an annual wine assessment.  The cellar includes wines for long term cellaring and a “consumption cellar”  --  that is, we will purchase wines when they become available (and before they disappear from the market) to be used in future events within the next few years.  We store these in a local climate controlled facility.  The inventory is available upon request and the current estimated value is over half a million dollars.


What is the current annual wine assessment?

The 2017-2018 season assessment is $1,650 per member, as identified above.  This amount is reviewed on an annual basis and may be adjusted from time to time based on the financial health of the Branch and the wine market.


Who decides which wines to buy for our wine cellar?

The Branch Cellarer/Sommelier and the Wine Committee make the wine buying decisions.


Where do we buy most of our wines from?

We purchase our wine from wineries, auctions and private cellars.  Occasionally we do buy wines from other retailers to take advantage of special opportunities.