I may not be that into sports, but if there’s one kind of tournament I am invested in, it’s a wine tasting tournament. A few weeks ago my girlfriends and I got together to celebrate our friend Erica’s 26th birthday complete with a cheese board, dessert and wine tasting. Once everyone arrived, we snacked, caught up and then headed to the table to start our Wine Bracket game!
Wine Bracket is a wine tasting party in a box. Using the kit, you can host a complete wine tasting tournament in your home. The game allows you to taste your way through eight wines in a bracket style, almost like you’re creating a bracket for March Madness. Everything from tiny sampling glasses to voting brackets to color coordinated pitchers are included in the kit, plus the game can be reused until you run out of voting brackets!
Here’s How it Works
First, I set up the table so everyone had their little station: two tasting glasses (a purple and gray), a voting bracket, a pencil and voting card. I also brought some crackers and snacks over to the table to cleanse our palates between tasting the wine.
The host (who also gets to play the game!) pairs up the wines by similar features to help guide the comparison and writes it down on the Master bracket. It was fun to evaluate what everyone brought and decide which wine should compete against the other. We didn’t set a price range so of course you know I had to throw in a Two Buck Chuck from Trader Joe’s to see how it competed.
One tip – be sure to decide what temperature everyone is going to bring the wine because the difference in chilled versus not did have an impact on our tasting!
Starting with the first round of wines paired in the “North” section of the bracket, the host pours the two wines into the two color coordinated pitchers and heads to the table to pour all the guests a sample of each.
The guests taste test, write notes and pick their favorite throughout each round. The group votes on their favorite wine to determine which of the two wines moves to the next round. It gets a little competitive when you find out which of the wines wins from each pairing and it keeps the guessing going. With a process of elimination and tasting the winners each round, you end up with a final favorite wine of the group!
And the winner is…
You guys! After trying eight different wines, all reasonably priced, actual bottles that we would bring to a party or buy for ourselves – the Two Buck Chuck (technically Charles Shaw Chardonnay) WON! I still cannot believe it. Our group had some legitimate wines – Meomi is one of my favorite wines and it’s almost $20 a bottle – but still, the $4 Trader Joe’s wine pulled through as the group favorite! It’s such a great example of how the blind taste changes everything. Our runner up was a chardonnay called Sunday Funday that I would totally buy again.
What Did They Think
My girlfriends loved the game and are already asking when we can play again with red wine. We enjoyed the challenge of thinking of ways to describe the wine. One of my favorites quotes was Erica saying, “First I thought grape, and then I thought….wine.” Ha! The game really does help you determine your preferences and may even surprise you on wines you didn’t think you would like.
Wine Bracket is a new product, a sister brand to the original Brew Bracket for beer lovers. You can purchase it here! It would be a blast for summer parties, birthdays, girls nights and more. As you can see, my girlfriends and I loved it and I am still laughing about how Trader Joe’s Two Buck Chuck made it through as the winner!
Thanks to Kira and Danielle for hosting the party, and to Kira for hand writing the adorable cheese name cards!
Love food. Love self. Love life.
Thank you to Wine Bracket for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own and I only collaborate with brands I genuinely believe in – so give this one a try.