SEATTLE, November 11, 2014 — One of the biggest challenges many people have when it comes to enjoying wine is finding ways to creatively describe what they’re tasting. An important step to “finding your palate” is being able to identify which flavors in wines remind you of something else. There is no “magic’ to this activity, it simply comes with time, patience and trying as many wines as you can possibly get your hands on.
Minglevine has had its game board game tasting kit (which also doubles as a four bottle carrier) out for a few years now and has seen quite of bit of success with it. The inspiration to this game is founded on the principles of blind tasting which is a great way to practice palate building.
To play, you get four bottles of wine, ideally straight varietals, use the included label covers to cover each label and then place them on the board locations, one through four. Everyone samples each bottle and then writes down notes, trying to guess the varietal of each bottle and the person who correctly guesses after revealing the wines is the winner.
One of the challenges that a game like this has is that there aren’t a ton of straight varietals out on the market. Even most that are labeled “Cabernet Sauvignon”, for example, normally have a bit of another varietal blended in. In most cases, wines are allowed up to 20 percent of other varietals to be blended in and are still able to be labeled as the dominate varietal.
Additionally, the game would require someone who won’t be playing the game to place the wine label covers on, otherwise, the person who does it will have a huge advantage. Yet another issue, is bottle shape. Since most varietals use certain shapes to bottles, it can be easy to guess just by looking at the bottle. Chardonnay bottles, for example, almost always have the same shape, same goes with Pinot Noir and Syrah. Minglevine could overcome this by including covers that covered the entire bottle up to the top.
While it’s not a perfect setup for a truly blind experience, it does help engage folks, especially those who may be starting out on their wine journey, to start writing their thoughts done which is an important step.
Minglevine has also announced its IOS app which is designed to coincide and enhance the board game experience. You can find more details of it on the Kickstarter page recently setup to help raise money to develop the app.
If you’re looking for a fun way to taste wines with friends, then you should look at this as a non-serious way of getting together with friends and having fun, seeing what each other comes up with for tasting notes and varietal guesses.