My friends like to say I am competitive. I prefer to say I am a game lover. Either way, a game night filled with wine-theme games and wine tasting is my idea of a great time. Add in the fact that this was on a Friday night and we all wore pajamas…well, it doesn’t get much better than that. This wine-themed game night was an event for my wine group, The Baltimore Swirlistas and fourteen of our members were in attendance. Each member brought a bottle of wine as well as a food dish to share.
Wine Games (and descriptions) Played:
Wine Smarts: Our Wine Smarts Game includes 100 question and answer cards filled with interesting wine facts. It is perfect for testing your wine knowledge with friends. If you are not an expert yet, our game is a great way to increase your wine list confidence. You will pick up an incredible amount of useful wine advice that will have you talking shop with a sommelier in no time!
Wine Wars: This fun and fascinating trivia game tests your knowledge of the fruit of the vine. Let the battle begin as players answer questions in categories such as Vine to Vino (growing grapes, making wine, and world production), Wine Cellar (selecting, storing, and tasting wine), and Cork Culture (wine people, business, arts and science, and trivia). Perfect for those new to the world of wine, but challenging enough for the devoted oenophile,Wine Wars will have you swirling, sniffing and sipping your way to vinicultural victory.
Winerd: Always wanted to be sommelier? Always wanted to know what a sommelier is? Instead of looking it up, play this wine-themed board game with your friends to find out! Winerd is a game that brings wine tasting, wine trivia, and wine-loving wannabes together to learn, drink and be merry. Start the game by tasting three wines and noting their flavors, aromas and colors. When your piece (a wine cork!) lands on a Blind Tasting Space, sip one of the wines and recall its name from your soon-to-be finely tuned sense memory. If you land on a Wine Label Space, answer a piece of trivia…maybe something like, “What’s the French name for a wine steward?” Winderd comes with four game pieces, but playing in teams is encouraged. Be a Winerd!
Wineopoly: Pop the cork off any gathering with WINEOPOLY (a wine version of Monopoly). Players buy favorite wines, collect bunch of grapes and trade them in for decanters. Sounds easy enough but add import taxes and serving faux pas and it becomes a little more difficult and a lot more fun. Learn while you play. Each deed back contains wine descriptors and fun facts about each wine. It’s all fun and games until you’re sent to the wine cellar to age and then you’re out of the game for three turns. So choose your token (wine bottle, cork, wine glass, cheese, grapes, or a carafe) and advance to cheers.
ZinZig: ZinZig is the wine tasting and trivia game that will challenge your mind and palate. So sit back, relax, and sip your wine. You’re in for a Zin-ful good time. With over 200 trivia questions and 50 blind wine tasting cards, you’ll learn something new every time you play! Answer a question correctly to win your card, but be careful! Other players can swap, trade, and steal your cards. So move quickly! The first player to collect their corks, grapes, barrels and bottles and get to the winery wins!
The plan for the evening was to have all of us go from playing one game, to another and another. However, all the women were having such a great time, that we spent over two and a half hours on one game! After that it was just wine tasting, eating and laughing…pretty much the end to all of our wine group events.
We had four women play ZinZig (as you can see from the pictures below). Three bottles of red wine were used for this game and the blind tasting aspects. I didn’t get a chance to play this game, but it sure sounded like everyone was having a blast!
Wineopoly, a wine-themed version of Monopoly, was also a huge hit with the group!
And last, but not least…Winerd. Since this was the game that I played that evening, I have more to say about than any of the other games. At the start of Winerd all three teams (of two people each) tasted 3 wines selected for the game:
Wine 1: Relax Riesling, Germany (2012)
Wine 2: Yalumba Riesling, Australia (2011)
Wine 3: Two Vines Gewürztraminer, Washington State (2010)
While tasting these wines, we each took notes on blind taste test notesheets provided in Winerd. The notes ask us to view the color, aroma and flavor profile. You can see a picture of one of the notesheets in the picture collage below. Here are some of the notes on each wine:
Relax Riesling (2012)
Color: “Lightly golden,” “Light yellow” and “Pale and light.”
Aroma: “Sweetness,” “Peach,” “Honey and floral,”Stinky goat” and “Rubbing alcohol and sweet.”
Flavor profile: “Sweet melon, no finish,” “Almost bubbly, apple and watery,” “Lemon and citrus,” “Sweet and biiter, then metallic. A little bit watery” and “Semi-sweet, smooth and no finish.”
Yalumba Riesling (2011)
Color: “Slightly green,” “Light yellow,” “Light color, more yellow,”Yellow-green tint” and “Darker thank Relax Riesling.”
Aroma: “Off sweet and rubbing alcohol,” “Tart,” “Nothing but grapes” and “Grassy and earthy.”
Flavor profile: “”Grassy, alcohol bite and Sauv Blanc’y’,” “Spicy bite, oaky and crisp,” “Grassy like a Sauv Blanc” and “Grape juice.”
Two Vines Gewürztraminer (2010)
Color: “Golden green” and “Yellow green.”
Aroma: “Outhouse,” Yuck,” “Too sweet” and “Grassy and barnyard.”
Flavor profile: “Bittersweet and effervescent,” “Strong aftertaste,” “Alcohol taste,” “Acidic” and “Less sweet, more bitter.”
After finishing our notes, the game really started. One team is asked a wine-themed trivia question. If they get that question correct, they get to roll the die to move around the board. Throughout the board are various “blind taste test” squares. If a team lands on this, they are blinding given one of the three wines and must correctly identify the wine name, region and vintage year in order to progress around the board (one square for each one of those specifics answered correctly). Once a team manages to get their piece around the board, there is one final taste test that must be answered 100% correctly in order to win the game.
While I am sure this game would be fun playing as individuals, I really enjoyed the teams. It gave each of us a chance to bounce our ideas off of each other. Two heads are better than one, right? (Well, sometimes. There were a couple of times we didn’t always agree). I was also super PSYCHED because my teammate and I won! Yay!
Overall, I would highly recommend any of these wine games for a game night. Just keep in mind with Winerd and ZinZig that it is hard to socially drink wine during the game because you don’t want to contaminate your palate (or mind) by tasting other wines while you are trying to remember the three wines associated with the game. Also, I am always on the lookout for new games to add into the mix, so let me know if you have any suggestions!