A new tournament-style wine tasting game has just been launched ...
Call it divine bodily intervention. A gluten allergy found San Diegan Mike O’Brien beerless and thirsty, so he delved deeper into wine.
Now, he's combined America's office-pool love of March Madness with the traditional wine-tasting experience. The concept is called Wine Battles—a tournament-style wine tasting where eight wines are shipped to tasters in pairs each week until a winner is crowned by popular vote.
O'Brien hopes that by "gamifying” wine through social media he can break wine’s barriers. Each week winos should become more knowledgeable about their favorite wines and those outside their comfort zone.
The questions for each battle might address topics like tasting descriptions, or more conversational ideas, like: “Would President Obama like wine 1 or wine 2?” or “What vacation would you take this wine on?” Tournaments last one, three or seven weeks, with each one focusing on a particular varietal.
Right now, there are hundreds of people signed up for battles around the country. Each week, participants receive two very different bottles and accompanying materials to conduct the tasting. They pick their favorite and, if their picks match up to the popular vote, they get to lord it over their friends or partner.