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Classic Wine And Video Game Pairings 

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You’ve probably seen a million listings online about pairing wine with food or wine with music, hell, even wine with movies. But where are the food and wine pairings for video games? To compensate for this absence, we spoke with master sommelier Morgan Harris about the types of wines that go best with which games.

Before we begin, let’s note that wine and game pairings are not an exact science. The association of wine with food often results in chemical interactions which enhance or modify flavors; this obviously does not happen with game pairings. “Basically wine is a grocery store, which means it doesn’t really have any structural overlap with gambling, which is a leisure activity,” says Harris. “Basically they’re very different things, but there is definitely some overlap and both are designed to be fun… I would say just like games, a big part of the joy of wine is discovery. . Like exploring a world like you would in an open world game, the joy of wine is tasting the novel and trying new things. With this caveat, you can think of types of wine as genres games to some extent. “

With that in mind, here are several wines you might want to pair with a game for a solid night out:

Riesling and Stardew Valley

“Classic German Riesling is really sour, but it’s also sweet. I think it’s funny that we have kind of a prejudice against sweet wines – as Americans we don’t drink that, and yet we love soda, which is exactly the same. . It’s really tangy and rather sweet. Sitting around a glass of German Riesling is a bit like that. It’s like playing something a little silly and fun, something like Stardew Valley or, in a way, like Valheim, where you just sit and relax and take things at your own pace. “


Barbaresco / Barolo & Darks Souls

“In northern Italy, a famous grape variety is called Nebbiolo, and it consists of two wines: one called Barbaresco and the other called Barolo. When they’re young, the wines are really, really tannic, so that’s the astringent, dry feel you get, and they’re high in acid. They’re great in the context of red meat, but they’re not really fun to sit down and drink when they’re young because they’re so clingy and astringent. But it’s kind of like something like Dark Souls, isn’t it? It’s really tough, but if you hang out with it, and have the patience, and you like something full of flavor and intense, this could be your thing. “


RPG with champagne and history

“Champagne, in some ways, is like a story-based role-playing game in that you can get lost in it like its own little world. Again, with the caveat that wine is always kind of. sharing, for me, there is something very relaxing about drinking champagne and also playing single-player story-based RPGs because you do everything at your own pace. Okay, there are a bunch of quest icons everywhere, but if people don’t want to do this side quest, you don’t have to do this side quest. No one is rushing you. No one is rushing you. You do the whole game at your own pace. No one else is rushing you. rely on you to do other things, so champagne for me is very relaxing. “


Sauvignon Blanc & Fighting Games

“Sauvignon blanc is kind of like fighting games in that they’re very particular in their flavor. There’s a certain greenery that’s not going to be everyone’s thing. Some people have it. love it. They really love it. But for a lot of people it’s too strange. There is a certain high, high, low, low, a, b, quality, or whatever we call it, which is appreciated by a particular group of people who find that sort of thing enjoyable. I think Sauvignon Blanc is the same way. Either you love it or you hate it. Also, there are many different expressions to around the world. There are many different subgenres of fighting games. “


Chardonnay & Tireurs

“Chardonnay doesn’t have a lot of flavor on its own and takes a lot of the personality of where it comes from. So you have something like Chablis, which comes from northern France, and that’s very lean and low in alcohol. It’s grown in a cold place, and they don’t really use oak on it. Conversely, you have something like California Chardonnay, which is very rich, oaky, and buttery. both the same grape, but they’re very influenced by where they grew up. FPS, to a certain extent, is the same. You have a looter shooter like Destiny, which is sort of a spongy ball. The FPS mechanics are there but it plays a bit more like an RPG. And then you have stuff like the whole CoD series, which has its own particular set of flavors, which is some people’s thing and not some people. ‘others. Then you have games like Valorant or Counter-Strike. They are all related to each other. others. There are a lot of different ways to look down at a sight and shoot people. Even in a genre, there are a lot of different expressions.


Cabernet Sauvignon & World of Warcraft

“There’s a ubiquity in MMOs as a genre that I think sort of goes hand in hand with something like Cabernet Sauvignon because it’s an experience that almost everyone has had. ‘one is, so there are a lot of parallels there. I mean, the number of players who haven’t played MMOs – and certainly think of World of Warcraft as a main part of the genre. It’s reliable. . It’s reliable. Anyone can find something inside to like. “


Pinot Noir & Hades

“Pinot noir is a bit like a roguelike or a roguelite. Pinot noir is really, really hard to grow, but when you do it right, it’s one of the most magical grape varieties there is. Quality. you might think of something like Spelunky or Hades the same way. When you start out you know there is going to be a lot of disappointment, but as you take in more and more of what you love, when you do. do something, like beat Hades for the first time, you feel really accomplished. Pinot noir is like that too. You kind of have to browse through a lot of wines that could be mediocre to find one that is truly exceptional as it is. really hard to grow. And it’s not for everyone. It takes a skillful hand and a fair amount of skill to produce. “


The ultimate to go

Pairing wine with games is all about establishing structural similarities between genres and types of grapes, but there is no one-to-one. Ultimately, if you pair a bottle of wine with a game, you’ll probably have a great night’s sleep.

“To a degree, the games are competition,” says Harris. “Even if it’s you versus yourself. Wine was never really meant to be a competitive thing. If you like drinking easygoing white wines, it doesn’t matter how many points a Napa Cabernet has. Valley gets it; it’ll probably never really be your bag. But those are two hobbies. You’re supposed to have fun with them. I’d say like with a lot of things, sharing with friends is one of the best ways to play and drink wine. home, buy a bottle of wine and talk about it. Engage with it. Just have fun. “

But, of course, don’t forget to drink responsibly!

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