Think you can taste the difference between a $40 vs. a $20 bottle of wine? Think again with Bottle Bracket. We stumbled upon this extraordinary concept that's bringing back the old fashion board game paired with a new way of thinking about wine and we cannot wait to test out our wine tasting skills! Bottle Bracket is an interactive wine club centered around a wine tasting game, where members taste wines with friends and rank them by price in a tournament-like competition. The catch? The labels are covered. But before we dive into the fun, we wanted to get an exclusive preview from the founders themselves.
(WF): Wine and a board game? Seems like a brilliant combo. How did you come up with this amazing dynamic duo?
(BB): Two of our founders, Natalie and Emily, were out to dinner with two non-wine drinking friends (yes, we have some of those). One of them bet that Natalie couldn’t tell the difference between a $5 and a $50 bottle of wine, and the challenge was on. We created a blind wine tasting game inspired by a tournament bracket (we love sports) and started playing often. Emily came up with the idea to turn the game into a wine club - and Bottle Bracket, blind tasting conveniently delivered to your door, was born!
(WF): I’m sure there have been some pretty funny and unusual stories from playing, do you have a most memorable?
(BB): When we first developed Bottle Bracket, we feared that seasoned wine drinkers wouldn’t be adequately challenged by our game. So we organized a game where we played against 2 master sommeliers in training. These guys had been studying wine for years.
Bottle Bracket is a price-based blind tasting game, where you use only your taste buds to determine which wines you believe are more expensive. We knew that price and label heavily impact people’s enjoyment and perception of wine, but we had no idea just how much. Needless to say, the look on the 2 somms’ faces when they found out the results were priceless (they lost!). They were shocked to find that wines in every price range can be just as well made, complex, and delicious as ones that cost twice as much.
It was validating to know that loving wine truly has nothing to do with a price tag or an expert rating. It’s all about finding what you love the most. We’ve found that both experts and wine novices learn a lot (and have fun!) when they play Bottle Bracket.
(WF): It seems like you love wine as much as we do, in three words, describe your love affair with wine?
(BB): Discover, don’t discriminate.
(WF): At WINEFARER, we love hearing about the unexpected journeys that stem from wine. Can you share you favorite wine journey with us?
(BB): Bottle Bracket is all about discovery - discovering wines you love, especially ones you’ve never tried before. So many wine clubs these days try to narrow your preferences, while we want to do the opposite.
One of our favorite wine journeys involved a trip to wine country with our technical team, one of which is a self-proclaimed white wine-only drinker. We were sourcing Petite Sirah at the time, literally the exact opposite of white wine, and she tasted a young Petite Sirah straight out of the barrel from one of our favorite wineries, Page Mill. Her reaction was priceless. “This is Petite Sirah?! I love it! I now like red wine.” Someone who would have snubbed red wine in the past just ordered a glass with me over dinner the other night - paired perfectly with some charred brussel sprouts. That is the education and discovery Bottle Bracket provides.
Stay tuned for more fun with Bottle Bracket SOON!