By Jim Boyce
Someone in Beijing showed me a wine game that includes a set of cards with discussion topics nearly guaranteed — IMHO — to bore players to death before they get that first glass of Lafite ’82 down their throats.
“Did you question Merlot after seeing the movie ‘Sideways‘?” “How often do you disagree with the rating of a wine with a high score?” “How many bottles do you buy in a year?”
All coma-inducing topics — again, IMHO — although I don’t simply want to criticize. I also want to create solutions. Because that’s the kind of positive solution-creating person I am. So here are a dozen wine-related questions I find much more interesting than anything found in that deck.
1. Have you ever opened someone’s very rare and/or expensive wine and pretended you had no idea how rare and/or expensive it was? How many times?
2. If you put a zinc penny into a decanter of corked wine, it won’t smell corked any more, but it will taste like a zinc penny. True or false?
3. Would you eat a cork for a dollar? How about five dollars? Ten dollars? You’d do it for ten dollars, wouldn’t you? Liar!
4. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being ‘fully totally completely and utterly awful’ and 10 being ‘worse than a corked bottle of warm White Zinfandel strained through a marathoner’s used running shorts’, how do you rate the movie Bottle Shock?
5. Have you ever opened some Sauvignon Blanc, noticed it lacked aroma, and made your cat pee in the bottle so it seemed more Sauvignon Blanc-y?
6. Have you ever tried the same thing with your dog only to find it didn’t create the same aromatic je ne c’est quoi?
7. Who would win, and why, a sabrage contest between Robert Parker and Jancis Robinson? How about skeet-shooting? Candy Crush Saga?
8. Did you ever blow over the top of a wine bottle to get an oboe-like sound? Did you ever do it with several bottles, each with varying amounts of liquid, to get more than one note? What song were you trying to play? Was it ‘Smoke on the Water’?
9. Have you ever found anything weird in a bottle of wine? Like some grape seeds? Or a baby mouse? Or a handful of blood diamonds?
10. I once accidentally dropped a bottle of wine — a Barossa Shiraz from Glaetzer, in case it matters — down the marble steps at The Hilton Beijing. How many times did it bounce before shattering and sending a cascade of wine to the bottom where stood an unamused hotel manager?
11. Could you imagine so-called wine geeks proving their “passion” by poking their eyes out to do more authentic “blind” tastings? Me, too.
12. Have you ever dreamed of riding behind Robert Parker on a solid gold unicorn over unctuous rivers of Napa Cabernet illuminated by a rainbow of colors from a glorious setting sun, thought it was the perfect scene, and then have him turn and destroy the mood by saying, ‘I’d give that sunset 92 points’? Me, too.