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the Tasting Game

by Tom Cannavan, 12/06

I won't beat about the bush here: the wine tasting game from The Wine Gift Centre is possibly the best value wine-related gift I've come across not just this Christmas, but ever. With change from £20, I defy you to find better! In the beautifully presented carrying case (solid wood, with a leather carrying strap) you will find a quality acrylic professional spittoon, six numbered cloth bottle bags, six 'drip-stop' foils, all the game pack sheets and rules, and even a dry-wipe marker pen.
  

The combined value of the components from the Wine Gift Centre appears to be around £31 before the carrying case, so at £19.95 the set is a real bargain - but as it is also included in a crop of mix 'n' match 'three for two' offers until Christmas, the value is just astonishing.


   The game can be played by any number of people with up to six wines. The host can choose the wines, but ideally each person brings a wine 'blind' to contribute to the party. As part of the pack comes a large, foldout 'taste and aroma guide,' with dozens of descriptors broken down into categories.

Each person supplying a wine tastes it in secret, and chooses three descriptors from the guide: one for Aroma, one for Taste and one for Sensation. These are written onto a card that is concealed with the wine inside a bottle bag. The same three descriptors are then recorded for all to see on the Challenge Card, but each in a random position from A - F, so that nobody knows which descriptors match which wine, and all the sets of three descriptors are thoroughly mixed across the Challenge card.

The game proceeds with all six wines being tasted, and each player trying to match any three of the descriptors from the Challenge board to the wine in their glass. At the end of the game each wine and its three descriptors are revealed as the bags are opened. One point is awarded for each descriptor correctly attributed, but if the person who brought a wine fails to match all three descriptors to his or her own bottle, they lose three marks.

The Wine Tasting Game is great fun and very educational. But even if you don't use it too often, you will get tremendous use from the spittoon, dripstops and bottle bags. For me this product is a no-brainer bargain, but as the Wine Gift Centre currently has it as one of 17 products in a 'buy two, get one free' mix 'n' match offer, it is a steal.

Wine Gift Centre is a minor sponsor of wine-pages.com, but I receive no commissions, referral fees or financial reward from sales of this or any gifts from the company. Click here to visit winegiftcentre.com.