Vendor Fee For Wine Tasting

Hi, we're planning a wine tasting festival and were wondering if it customary to charge the participating vendors that are providing the free samples a fee to participate in the festival or if it's expected to allow them to participate for free.

Answer From Expert Roger Bohmrich MW

The answer may depend upon various factors including possible local regulations. Often, vendors do have to pay a participation fee of some kind in addition to supplying the necessary samples at their own expense. Whether to charge them, and how much, is really a business decision. If it's a new festival, you may want to set a modest fee to insure you get sufficient vendors to make the event a success. Do you also plan to dictate the number or types of wines they will be allowed to show? While the wholesalers or wineries may grumble, there is a certain value in having a controlled theme and equal number of wines per table or booth, or you can simply leave it up to the vendors. That again is really your decision as the event organizer.

About The Expert

Roger has enjoyed a lengthy career in the wine trade as an importer and retailer, and at present he is an educator, speaker and consultant. He set up and managed Millesima USA, a New York merchant affiliated with a leading European company. Previously, he served as senior executive of importers Frederick Wildman & Sons. In recent years, Roger has judged wine competitions in Argentina, Turkey and China. Roger became one of America's first Masters of Wine in 1993.

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