Educators often remark that the best way to learn a new skill is to have fun as you do so. This seems to be the theory behind Jennifer Rosen’s <i>Wine Teasers</i> Wine Game, which is a pack of fifty question cards one can whip out in a moment’s notice to disarm any self-described wine snob in the vicinity.
The cards are fun, colorful, and feel good in your hands — more than I can say for my own multicolored, 3 x 5 index cards I created myself to help remember answers I need to pass various wine examinations. While these cards might have been designed to be a party game, or to help an amateur wine buff improve his or her knowledge, serious connoisseurs can use them to further their own wine education.
Here’s a good example. If you are reading this article, you yourself may had the experience of visiting a vineyard. Do you remember seeing rosebushes in the vineyards? I have — in Bordeaux as well as Long Island. Of course, though the rosebushes look attractive, they are in the vineyard for more than cosmetic purposes. The idea (which is hundreds of years old) is that both roses and grape vines are susceptible to both powdery (odium) and downy mildew. When a vigneron sees a rosebush overtaken by one of these mildews, he or she can move fast and treat the vines with sprays of sulphur for powdery mildew or copper sulphate for downy mildew.
This card deck is perfect for today’s 21- to 30-year-old millennial generation, as they prefer to have fun and interaction while learning. Beyond its main purpose as a party game, it would be terrific to pack for a trip to the wine country. In the two-hour drive from San Francisco to Napa, for example, or from Paris to Burgundy, one could conceivably become proficient in the field of wine.
For those who are reluctant to blow the cobwebs and dust off of a giant wine encyclopedia, Rosen’s wine deck is a great way to master wine and have fun in the process.