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Aug 21

Game On!

Over the last decade, wine has become more approachable. From easier to read labels to consumer-focused and consumer-written wine blogs (waving hello!), it’s just getting easier to learn about wine.

In the learning field, we often add games to our courses, whether online or in person. Experts will tell you that adults learn better when they can apply their knowledge. Of course, adults also learn better when they’re playing a game, and the learning isn’t as obvious. They’re having too much fun.

No where is this more evident than in the world of wine. Two new wine games have hit the market recently. In Europe, there is the Dutch game, 4xProeven (Tastingx4), which combines a board game with four bottles of wine. Here in the US we have Karafe. I’ve yet to play either of these games, but here’s what I know so far:



This game is a brilliant move for marketers all over. Wine publicists should pounce on this. The carton folds out to become a game board. Inside the carton are six half-bottles of wine that are somehow related (ie, all Australia), six numbered bottle sleeves, playing chips, instruc­tions, additional information and tasting notes.  Players first select a game leader, who sleeves the wines. After that, there are three different games that can be played:

  • ‘Name and Blame’: taste all six wines and guess which numbered bottle belongs to which wine label
  • ‘Dare to Compare’: compare two wines at a time
  • ‘Grip the Grapes’: determine the two dominant flavours of each wine

This is a fantastic way to introduce people to new wines and let them get to know the wine in a fun and relaxed environment. As far as I know, this game is curently available only in Europe.



I own this game. The nice publicist for Karafe sent me a free copy and I’ve yet to play it. My weekends have been filled and this game doesn’t appear to be quick. From glancing at it and reading the instructions, it seems like an adult version of Life, Monopoly, and Trivial Pursuit, all rolled into one.

Truthfully, I’m rather eager to play it, although slightly fearful that my wine knowledge is lacking. The object of the game is to make the most money through the process of producing and selling wine. Yep, in this game, you get to be a winemaker. It starts with acquiring cash, then land, then growing and harvesting, bottling, and finally selling the wine.

To move forward, you the dice. Each space has a monetary amount or instruction. You can acquire cash or buy more acres. Eventually, you can start bottling, harvesting, or selling per the instructions on the space. You must answer a question correctly before you can recieve the asset (acres, bottles, cash, etc). 

There are two levels of questions: Sippers and Connoisseurs. Sippers have slightly easier questions. (This is helpful if you’re playing with a sommelier. They have less of an advantage this way.)

  • Example Sippers question: When decanting a younger red wine, it is best to pour quickly in order to allow the wine to splash against the side of the glass. True or false? (True)
  • Example Connoisseurs question: What is the term for the flaky deposit sometimes found in the older, bottle-aged wines, particularly port, which requires the wine to be decanted to remove it?
  • A) beeswing B) dust C) fermentos D) foliage  (A beeswing)

Occasionally, a player will receive a Wine Taste Test question. Ah yes, there is drinking in this game too. The player must turn their heads while someone else pours the wine. The drinker must then identify the wine. It’s recommended for everyone to taste each wine and make a note of them before the game begins. For more difficult tastings, you could have four similar wines; for easier tastings, you can use four starkly different wines.
When we do get around to playing this game, we’ll definitely let you know.

So there you go. Two completely different approaches to wine  games, but both educational and fun.

My thanks to Kevin Dugan for the tip about 4xProeven and for the title of this post!

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Posted by Michelle at 7:00 am in Entertainment, Knowledge, Tastings, Wine Misc | Permalink | Comments (1)

One Response to “Game On!”

  1. Amy in OHio says:

    I have a question. Do you like red wines best? Have you always enjoyed them? My friends and husband love love love (and prefer) reds and I just can’t seem to get a taste for them. Is it something you have to work at or do you either have the taste or not? What do you think?

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