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Cozy Night In – Snacks + Games Pairings

Cozy Night In – Snacks + Games Pairings

We love gathering friends to eat, drink and be merry, as they say. And we’re all about fine wine and delivering the Napa experience, on tap, right to your door. So it was the obvious choice to pair our wines with a game and a snack that suits each of them best – you know we think our wines have their own personalities, so of course they have their favorite games. Draw up a chair, pour yourself a glass and settle in for a long winter’s night of strategy, luck and great food and wine.

PROFILE ONE
Uno + Green Goddess Hummus and pita chips

Uno was created in 1971 by Merle Robbins, a barber in Reading, Ohio, as the result of an argument with his son, Ray, over the rules of Crazy Eights. Robbins created the first deck by hand and the family loved it so much, he knew he was onto something. The Robbins went all in on their game, selling their home and investing $8,000 dollars to print 5,000 decks of the game. Robbins sold the decks out of his barber shop and then they took their show on the road – buying an RV and branded it with the slogan, “Uno-Best Game in America”.The next year, Robbins sold the game to three partners, who eventually formed International Games, Inc. Merle got $50,000 for the game itself and .10 cents royalties for every game sold. Toy giant Mattel owns the game now and has sold over 150 million copies in 80 countries. Merle Robbins died in 1984. Just like our Profile One, Uno goes down easy and you can play for hours. 

PROFILE TWO
Monopoly + Whipped Honey Goat Cheese Spread served with sliced apples or your favorite crackers

The original game was patented in 1903 by Lizzie Magie who called it “The Landlord’s Game”. She was unique for her time, unmarried and the sole owner of her home and acres of land, she set out to create a game that educated people on the single-tax theory of economist Henry George and highlighted what she saw as the negative outcomes of private land monopolies. Charles Darrow played a version of the game nearly 30 years later and loved it so much, he adapted it to become what we now know as Monopoly, and sold it to Parker Brothers. As of today, over 250 million sets of the game have been sold, making it the most widely played board game in the world. Our Profile Two is rich and golden, just how you feel when you’re locking in Boardwalk and Park Place.

PROFILE THREE
Jenga + Homemade Spicy Nut Mix 

Leslie Scott grew up in Ghana, West Africa and invented Jenga – derived from the Swahili word kujenga, which means “to build” – in the 1970s. The Scott family played the game for years, with Leslie perfecting it until she officially launched it at the London Toy Fair in 1983. Its success was tepid, but in 1985, a family friend, Robert Grebler, offered to buy exclusive rights to sell Jenga in the US and Canada – Scott made that deal and and another one with Hasbro in 1987, costing herself millions in royalties – per every $10 dollars sold, agents receive 75 cents while Scott receives only a nickel.  But it’s enough that Scott founded her own game company, Oxford Games, Ltd. and has produced over 40 games in her career. On November 5, 2020, Jenga was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. A little risky and a lot captivating (it’s so hard to stop playing) Jenga is the perfect match for our sweet and alluring Profile Three.

PROFILE FOUR
Cards Against Humanity + Homemade Kettle Corn

The game that’s been called, “Uproarious, unforgivable, absurd, hysterical, bad, horrible, hilarious, edgy, snarky and stupid.” It was started by eight grade-school friends on a holiday break from college back in 2012. It might come as little surprise that one of the founders stepped down in June of 2020 amidst allegations of fostering a racist and sexist workplace. But that’s what we love about CAH, it’s wrong, nine ways from Sunday. This is why we paired it with the crowd pleaser of our wines, Profile Four. With its subtle earthy vibe, this dry red is soft, dynamic and light bodied, making it the perfect counterbalance for this game.

PROFILE FOUR FIVE
Scrabble + Whipped Rosemary Ricotta Dip served with toasted baguette 

Invented by a depression-era, unemployed architect named Alfred Mosher Butts, who loved to play and analyze word games, Scrabble had a bit of a rough start, but is now one of the top five board games played around the world. Scrabble started out in 1933 as Lexiko, a combination of anagrams and classic crossword puzzles. Butts had studied dozens of games and concluded that word games were less popular than dice and card games, because there were no stakes – so he created a word game with scoring. By 1938 Lexiko had undergone several iterations and a rename to Criss Cross Words. Butts was having little success marketing his game until he met James Brunot, an entrepreneur with a penchant for games. Together they reinvented the game again, called it Scrabble and trademarked it in 1948. Brunot was serious about marketing the game, renting a schoolhouse and with a small team hand stamping each letter tile, they were cranking out 12 games an hour. They were selling games – 2,000 by 1949, but were in the red. Enter Jack Strauss. On holiday in 1950, Strauss came across a Scrabble game, tried it and was hooked. He purchased enough games to stock his nationwide chain of stores – Macy’s. And Scrabble was off to the races. The game now resides in the hands of Hasbro with over 150 million games sold, in 121 countries in 30 different languages. Roughly 30% of Americans own a Scrabble set. The meeting of two minds who loved games, one an inventor and one a marketer. Sounds a little bit like the melding of our two fabulous profiles to make our Profile Four Five. 

PROFILE FIVE
Trivial Pursuit + Fig and Olive Tapenade served with crostini

The game of knowing all the things. Trivial Pursuit was created in 1979 by Canadians Chris Haney and Scott Abbott. It was officially trademarked in 1981 and by 2014 more than 50 special editions had been released. The first copies were sold at a loss, but the story goes that since the mid 80s, the first investors have been able to live comfortably on the royalties alone. Our bold, complex, velvety Profile Five is the perfect wine to help you up your game and take the win.

© Hidde Schalm on Unsplash

PROFILE SIX
Yahtzee + Cranberry Blue Cheese Spread served with flatbread crackers 

There’s a story floating around that Yahtzee was invented by a Canadian couple who played it on their yacht and taught it to anyone who came aboard. We can’t tell you if that’s true, but we like the idea of it. Fine wine, luxury boating, friends and a good game. Even if you don’t have a yacht, this is the ultimate classic game of chance, and anyone can play. It’s great whether you’re planning a casual, open-house game night, or a more formal, the-games-start-at-8pm-sharp kind of night. Our Profile One is as easy to sip as Yahtzee is to play. A match made in heaven, or off the coast of Ibiza. 

PROFILE NINE
Taboo + Grilled Artichokes with Lemon Garlic Aioli

Turns out the birth of Taboo was just chance. Brian Hersh was a real estate developer who loved (and was very good at) Trivial Pursuit, playing it from day one. His friends commented on how good he was at it and how creative he was and egged him on to invent his own game. His strategy, as any good businessman knows, was to hire a market research team to do a report on party games and Trivial Pursuit. He liked the results and almost overnight he became a game inventor. He is now founder and general partner of Hersch and Company. Taboo has sold over 20 million copies and his company to date has sold over $850 million worth of games and related products. The vibe of this game and its founder are right in line with the fun and free spirited Profile Nine.

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