A little late night fun

Over 20 years ago José Andrés and Rob Wilder started daring partners, colleagues and friends – whoever was at dinner, really, or in the kitchen after hours – to late-night blind wine tastings.



People soon rose to the challenge, showing up to supper with bottles of wine masked in foil or cloaked in a paper bag.

Each guest would "host" a round with their wine, playing emcee as they poured tastes, giving tiny hints when prodded – Old World or New World? Earthy or fruity? Light, like a Pinot, or heavy, as in Malbec? Players recorded their answers on a paper grid system. Scoring made it competitive – and fun.  

Fast forward 20 years: Rob meets Gary Mendel through a mutual tech friend, and invites him to play the pencil and paper blind tasting game. Gary, who loves a challenge, was intrigued. That round, which included TFG Somm Andy Myers, was more than a little daunting. Nonetheless, Gary found himself correctly guessing a few, laughing a lot. With gaming gaining ground among GenX and Millenials – the same folks responsible for putting away much of the wine consumed in the US – today’s WineGame channels that paper version: a multiple-choice quizlet with no throwaway answers. Right or wrong, players learn from their pick—and get a healthy dose of competition to boot.


Another Round?

tasting tips