The Wine Guild: A Student Club Dedicated To The Art of Wine

Guest speaker Eric Hemer, Vice President of Wine Education, giving a presentation. Photo from @wineguild_fiu

By: Michael Grinchenco // Staff Writer

Out of the handful of places to drink on campus, this club offers one of the fanciest shared experiences at FIU, demonstrating this Dionysian form of art.

Located in the BBC campus, the Wine Guild is an 18+ student organization designed to appreciate, cultivate, and teach students about the industry and art of winemaking. 

“Our goal and passion is creating an open door for wine-curious students to learn everything they want to know,” said Leeanne Grunow, President of the Guild.  “We are open to all FIU students so they can explore the world of wine no matter their studies.”

The Wine Guild is an educational club for any student interested in the industry of wine. Their biweekly meetings, hosted by Grunow and her team, include a variety of guest speakers, wine tastings, and basic practices of wine and sommelier skills. 

A biweekly meeting of the Guild. Photo from @wineguild_fiu

In conjunction with the Bartender’s Guild, a club dedicated to spirits and liquor also located at BBC, weekly meetings are alternated between each organization to provide education to students with a variety of industry professionals.

Prior to the inception of this guild, a successful precursor was present in FIU known as the “Friends of Wine”, originally founded by Professor Patrick “Chip” Cassidy in 1989. According to Grunow, after Chip’s passing in 2019, and the eventual halt of the previous student club, the Wine Guild now seeks to honor his love for wine, his teaching legacy within the Chaplin School of Hospitality, and to continue to cultivate the wine culture for new students.

The late Professor Chip Cassidy, alongside his son Patrick. Photo from the Miami Herald

The club offers its members the Rioja Wine Certification,  for members who would like to take their lessons and apply it to their resumes.

More information about their sessions and meeting times can be found on their instagram @wineguild_fiu, and you can also reach the Guild through their email,