Wine Tasting Game
Planning a wine tasting game or two is a great idea if you are planning a wine tasting party or even just a casual get together with people who like wine. It can be a great way to get your guests involved and make the experience fun as well as educational. Particularly if your guests have little or no experience with wine, a wine tasting game can make them more comfortable, relaxed and involved while they learn about great wine.
The following are a few general wine tasting party ideas that you can adapt to your wine tasting group depending on the theme of your tasting or party. Read through them and try one or two at your next wine tasting party, dinner party or other gathering. For those that challenge your guests, it is fun to have a prize or two for the "winners". For example, a bottle of wine or a set of wine glasses would be a very appropriate prize! Really everyone is a winner though since they all have fun tasting and learning about wine.
- Train Your Palate - Pick three distinctive and typical white and red wines and taste blind in two flights. For example, start with three whites which are distinctive and good representations of their variety. A good line-up would be a Sauvignon Blanc, a Riesling and a Chardonnay. For the red flight, try Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. After teaching about typical characteristics of each, ask guests to identify aromas and give their opinions on the wines. If you have more experienced wine tasters, challenge people to identify each wine. As long as they are typical and distinctive many tasters will be successful and excited about their success.
This tasting can be turned into a wine tasting game or contest by passing out paper and pen and having people guess which is which. For inexperienced tasters, pass our or explain typical characteristics of each type of wine poured. For more experienced wine drinkers have them guess blind without knowing anything more. Have everyone write down their guesses and turn them in before revealing the wines. The taster with the most correct guesses wins!
- Wine-Themed Board Games - Board games are always fun for a party. There are wine-themed board games which are fun and help you to learn about wine while you have fun. These aren't tasting games per se but you can enjoy wine while you play the game. The two that we know about are both easily available on Amazon.com. One is Wine-opoly which is like Monopoly but with a wine theme. The other is Winerd.
- Wine Tasting Kit - Several companies sell wine tasting kits which are large collections of aromas that are typically found in wine. For example, the kits will include many tubes of aromatic compounds that smell like berries, vanilla, chocolate, earth, licorice, etc. They are good for training your nose to identify the aromas but can also be used as a fun wine tasting game. Challenge your guests to identify the aromas blind (without knowing what they are smelling). Then serve wines and see if you can match any of the aromas to the aromas in the wine.
- Make Your Own Wine Tasting Kit - The wine tasting kits described above can be a bit expensive. However, you can create your own! Fill small paper cups with various aromas that are typically found in wine and cover them so your guests can't see inside. For example, for red wine-like aromas you can have cups of blackberry jam, plum, cherry, tobacco/cigar, earth, pepper, leather, cassis, pencil shavings, green pepper, chocolate, truffle or mushroom. For white wines create cups with butter, flowers, melon, flowers, vanilla, etc. Challenge your guests to identify the aromas blind. Give a prize to the guest who can correctly identify the most aromas. Then taste wines and try to identify some of the aromas in the wines.
- Match the Wine to the Description - Print out typical descriptors for each of the wines as well as reviews of each wine served. Serve blind and let guests explore the wines. At the end, have guests try to match the wines with the written descriptions of each.
I hope these give you some ideas of fun wine tasting games to bring excitement to your next party!
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