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Wine Games? Balderdash!
Wine Games? Balderdash!
A party game to increase your wine knowledge
Everyone has heard of the classic party game Balderdash—an easily adaptable, often hilarious, bluffing game in which the “Dasher” reads out a word (or name or date or movie title) and writes the correct definition on a piece of paper. Every other player writes a definition, real or imagined, on an identical slip of paper. Each description is read aloud, and each player votes on which definition is correct. Players win points for matching the correct definition, guessing correctly, and misleading other players with particularly compelling fictions. Alternatively, players scrap the rules and award points based on whose definition is the most fun.
So what does all of this have to do with wine?
With all the obscure wine terms out there: brix, brett, bilberry, quince, musk, mineral, muscat, linden, and acacia, to name just a few, tasting notes can quickly become unfamiliar—or just plain funny.
Wine Balderdash takes advantage of these unusual bottlenotes for both humor and learning. Here’s how to play:
1. Everyone brings a bottle of wine concealed in a paper bag. Each person is the Dasher for his or her own bottle of wine.
2. The Dasher pours each player a taste of his or her wine, being careful not to reveal the information on the bottle (this game can also be modified to reveal the varietal, vintage, and/or appellation).
3. The Dasher copies the information from the label onto a slip of paper.
4. Each player tastes the wine, writing their tasting notes on identical slips of paper.
5. The Dasher reads out the notes, and players vote on which is the actual label.
6. The Dasher awards 1 point for each note that matches the label (vintage, appellation, varietal, aroma, or descriptor), one point to each player who guesses the correct description, and one point for each player that an entry misleads. Or, whoever has the funniest tasting notes wins the round!
7. Each player takes as turn as the Dasher, and the player with the most points at the end of the game is the winner. Drinks all around!
The game can range from a serious study in wine to creative farce with a wine vocabulary. Either way, players taste wines they’ve never tried before, and in the process a sweet, fruity California riesling might be described as:
“Animali on the nose with distinct hints of sweaty saddle and barnyard.”
Sound fun? Get sipping!
Fun Fact: The definition of the modern word “balderdash” is “senseless nonsense” But when the word first appeared in the 1590s, it meant “a jumbled mix of liquors (milk and beer, beer and wine, etc).” As disgusting as that sounds, it might be useful information in a game of Balderdash!
What’s your favorite wine word? Tell us below!