The person who chooses the wines can’t really take part in the wine tasting contest because they have too much ‘insider knowledge’ which, as we know, is highly illegal – LOL. The person intending to act as banker is ideally placed to choose the wine because the banker can manage the tasting activity along with his/her other tasks. However there’s nothing to stop the banker enjoying the wine along with the other players. A second option is to get your local wine retailer to choose the wines for you. Most likely he/she will be able to assemble a good selection under your budget guidance and indication of your preferrred mix between red or white.
Then either ther the banker or the wine retailer will need to make up the clue list which players can use to help them identify each wine.
Lets say the following 3 wines have been selected for tasting:
- 2008 Pinot Noir from Central Otago, NZ: “Spicy with cherry notes and smoke, racy mouthfeel”
- 2006 Saperavi from the King Valley, Victoria: “Very sweet red berry fruits followed by intense blackberry, and then coffee infused cedar”
- 2012 Shiraz from Adelaide Hills, SA: “Aromas of flowers, peppery spice, summer berry pudding, and barely there oak herald a silky palate of real concentration.”
The clue sheet needs to contain a 4 randomised lists of the vintages, grape varieties, region and tasting descriptions and will end up looking something like this table2.
Masking the wines
The whole point of the wine tasting option in The Vine Game is for players to guess the hidden identity of the chosen wines. So the labels should be covered and any other clue to a wine’s identity (e.g. the cork or cap) should be hidden, removed or blanked out.
The person selecting the wines and creating the list of clues to identity should also mask each bottle. The simplest method is to double bag each bottle with those brown paper bags available from your wine retailer and secure them just below the cap/cork with masking (!) tape or cellophane tape.