In Vino Veritas

-A drinking game for the whole family-


Ever have a dinner party where you need something to act as a social lubricant/gets everyone pleasantly buzzed? WELL, LOOK NO FURTHER – IMPATIENT FOODIE HAS GOT YOU COVERED!

My good buddy, Kevin, is very into wine and has an absolutely INGENIOUS way of talking about and describing them (as you’ll see below). He designed this drinking game a few summers ago for a big dinner party with friends and family and we all STILL talk about it – Seriously, SO FUN! And by the end of the game, even if you get practically every single wine wrong (like me), you still feel kinda like a sommelier! I    asked Kevin to revive it for Impatient Foodie and he chose the 6 bottles below (all organic and/or biodynamic, small scale production).

The basic idea of the game is that you completely cover the wine bottle/labels with a paper bag, label the bags with numbers, and have participants attempt to pair each wine with their description based on taste alone.

Here is how it works:

1) Go buy the 6 bottles below (all available at Appellation Wine Store in NYC)

2) Completely cover the wine bottles in paper bags and number the bags.

3) WITHOUT WRITING THE NAMES OF THE WINE, write the wine descriptions (see below) on a piece of paper or a large board (somewhere everyone in your party can see/read the descriptions).

4) Set out a bunch of wine glasses on a table for tasting.

  • If you don’t have many wine glasses, just be sure that everyone rinses their glass between each tasting!

5) Give everyone a piece of paper and a pen.

6) Participants have to taste the wines, read the descriptions, and write down what they think the correct pairing is.

  • We have laid out the below wine and description so that Wine 1= Description A; Wine 2=Description B; Wine 3=Description C… and so on)
  • You can mix this up, but you’ll have to keep track of which wine goes with which description!

7) FYI, when I played this we had 8 bottles of wine and I got ONE correct. Kevin’s wife got 6 out of 8 correct (!!!)

8) Winner gets glory/bragging rights and doesn’t have to do dishes or help clean up, or whatever worthy prize you can come up with.


1)   Clos La Coutale Cahors 2011, $10

2)   Avondale Pinotage 2012, $14

3)   Domaine des Sablonnettes Les Copain d’Abord 2012, $17

4)   Nuova Cappelletta Barbera del Monferrato 2011, $17

5)   Gulfi Nerojbleo 2009, $20

6)   Montinore Pinot Noir 2012, $20



A)  Bonjour mon ami!  I am a meaty Malbec, but don’t call me Argentinian!!  I am from the ‘black country’ of Cahors in France.  Centuries before Bordeaux became famous, I was drunk by European royalty, and my vines were exported to Argentina years after this.  I’m different from Bordeaux : being inland has given me a lot of sun and given be a pronounced blackberry flavour.  Does your mouth feel a bit dry after you drink me?  That’s my lovely firm French tannins, so you better put me with some meat or cheese!

B)  I’m a real character.  People love me or hate me.  I get told I’m like licking a Band Aid by some people.  They don’t understand me.  The cool wind blowing over the southern cape creates a perfect climate to create my blackcurrent and bacon flavours.  I am the South African Pinotage.  Don’t be a hater.

C) Enough boring wine!  I’m a funky artist, slightly effervescent, with strawberry magic mushroom notes.  From the Loire Valley, I’m light and refreshing.  I like to think of myself as a skinny bitch, I am best paired with some grilled fish and a slim lover.

D) Take the Italian Barbera bull by the horns!  I charge at you with my stewed plum notes but show soft tannins on the tail.  Like many Italian food wines I have higher acidity to cut through that medium-rare steak on your plate.  Be a bull-fighter and enjoy my leather and cigar box notes.

E) Real power is taken, not given, and I’m the Godfather of wines.  I’m a Nero d’Avola from Sicily, where we do things the old school way.  There’s a lot of cherry and leather notes out there: you might need some protection.  I’m dark to look at, so you can’t see what’s going on behind the glass.  The hot sun has given me higher alcohol and some medicinal notes.  Go easy with me or you’ll be swimming with the fishes.

F) It’s cool and damp in the Williamette Valley.  I’m a complex Oregon Pinot, with a little strawberry, coffee, and clove nose leading to a long balanced finish.  2012 was a cooler year so I have some lovely raspberry notes and lip-smacking acidity.  The best bodies are SO from the west coast, and my body is smooth and long.

Join the conversation