The concept is very simple…
- For £75 a month (inc. p&p) we will send you 6 bottles of unlabelled, quality wine through the post each month
- All you have to do is guess the nationality, region, varieties included and high street value
- Enter your answers online, and we do the rest
- Results are published in a league table the following month, with great prizes for our winners
How we score…
There is a maximum of 5 points per wine – 30 points overall:
- The country the wine was produced (1 Point)
- The region the wine is from (1 Point)
- The grape varieties included (2 points maximum)
- 1 point each for the two main grape varietals in a blend or two for a single variety.
- An estimate of the RRP for the wine (1 Point)
In the event of a tie we will ask you estimate the combined alchoholic percentage of the 6 wines each month and ‘closest to the pin’ wins
If you are a member of a wine tasting society or club, you are welcome to work as team and use your combined knowledge and skill
If you want to enjoy the wine alone or as a couple throughout the month then be our guest
If you want to use it as an excuse to gather some friends together each month to try and guess our wines then ‘the more the merrier’
Admit it… you would like to tell your friends you won a wine tasting competition!
For a little extra fun, we ask you to rate each wine
A mark out of 5 can be awarded for how much we enjoyed the wine, and you can also rate each wine online once the results are published
This has no bearing on the competition, but may help you remember how much you enjoyed it and allows us to observe your views on each wine and give comparisons
Maybe together we will discover some hidden gems and give their creators a well-deserved pat on the back!
It is very likely that many of you reading this will have a much greater understanding of wine than myself. I have been lucky enough to have visited some amazing vineyard’s on four continents, meeting some great people and sampling some beautiful wines (and a couple of terrible ones), but I will openly admit to being an enthusiastic amateur at best.
I don’t think my palate is too bad but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if yours is more cultured.
What I do have is nearly two decades of experience as a PE teacher which, believe it or not, I feel is almost as important as my love of wine in the context of the Suspicious Wines Challenge. And why? Because I have had years of experience generating games and knowing what level at which to ‘pitch’ them.
The SW challenge is not designed to show how clever I am, or think I am, or I would trip up at the first hurdle. Neither is it designed to be so difficult that nobody scores any points.at all. I am sure we could find 6 wines, from different ancient and almost forgotten Armenian grape varieties and sit smugly as nobody guesses them correctly. By the same token it is not a lottery in that there is no skill required at all.
Each month there will be a number of wines, that I believe those with a solid understanding of wine will be able to identify some elements of (if not all), and a couple that have slightly more challenging features to test the most able wine connoisseurs. Consider it to be similar to the F.A. Cup. Those with the most knowledge, and skill ‘should’ win. But there are always shocks and upsets. That is what makes it so interesting.
We have selected 45 potential countries for our wines to come from.Wine regions are tricky as different countries have different ways of classifying what is a Wine Region, however, having sought much advice we, hopefully have all bases covered. In the main we have gone with what the country describes as a ‘region’ which will make some countries more awkward than others to identify correctly, but the menu options should provide guidance.
In regards to Grape Varietals, we have selected 45 Common Grapes to select from, which should cover most of the wines we select. However there is an option to select from our wider list of over 1000 grapes. If your adamant Wine D this month is from the Serbian Tamjanika Grape (and maybe it is) the option is there for you.
‘Recommended Retail Price’ is much simpler. Just price bands so you can guess how much a High Street Retailer would charge you for this wine. (Expect plenty of “Wow… that’s amazing” and hopefully less “Really… for that” but there will be some, and that is part of the game.)
Being honest… would I expect to win this game if I played? No, but I would like to think I had a ‘Punchers Chance’ if a few wines I had experience of were in the box. I am also sure I be would certainly be dropping it into conversations if I finished high up the league table one month.
So how much do you think you know? If nothing else I hope you enjoy finding out…