Pour decisions: wine with video games

Getting Commander Shepherd drunk in every bar in Mass Effect. Using cocktails to manipulate moods in The Red Strings Club. Downing so much beer in Fable that you throw up and earn The Drinking Game achievement. Alcohol has long featured in video games in ways both subtle and over-the-top.

I’m writing this now with a fuzzy head on a Sunday morning, after going to my first wine-tasting event in London with my other-half the previous night. I can’t remember how many varieties we ended up trying but it must have been quite a few – and thankfully we managed to keep a list of those we really enjoyed. Through my alcohol-induced fog, I began thinking which of our chosen bottles would go well with video games so here’s a list of my best pour decisions.

Katie Jones La Gare Old Vine Syrah 2018

A classic big red ripe with dark fruit and notes of wild rosemary and thyme, with a peppery aroma. Barrel aging helps soften the wine and control its wild rustic character. Goes well with a meaty steak and chips.

Pete’s favourite wine of the evening. There’s nothing understated about it: it’s strong and packs a punch of flavour, and a wine like that needs a beefy video game to stand up to it. So how about something like Red Dead Redemption 2? These two ‘wild rustic characters’ could be a match made in heaven.

Stefano di Blasi Montepuliciano DOC 2018

An intense and velvety modern red, full to the brim with bright red fruit and smooth dark chocolate. It’s very easy drinking and will therefore suit many different pallets. Goes well with a rich, gamey stew.

A glass of this would be perfect in front of a roaring fire in the winter, and where better to find a ‘gamey stew’ than one of the traditional inns in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It’s a game that many people love regardless of what their preferred genre is so this easy-drinking tipple could be its perfect pairing.

Simpsons of Servian Sparkling Syrah 2018

A deliciously soft and fruity sparkling red with a fabulous deep opaque colour. Bursting with sweet red fruits, this is one to try if you’re intrigued by something different. Goes well with traditional fare like roasted turkey.

Sparkling wines go with special occasions and there’s nothing more special than this festive time of year – convenient, seeing as this one pairs well with turkey. Pour yourself a glass before digging out your old-school consoles so we can go retro with Home Alone. Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal.

Ocaso Sparkling Rosé

This modern sparkling rosé may win over some red wine drinkers and convince them to give pink fizz a try. Think fresh cherries and strawberries full of small and brilliant bubbles. Goes well with grilled marinated shrimp or fish.

This tipple is a bright and happy one, and there’s just something about its bubbles that make it feel very uplifting. It therefore needs a positive game to go alongside it so a title like Journey could be a lovely choice here. I bet you’d have a great big smile on your face by the end of your play session… hic.

Cecilia Simon Tokaji 2015

Full-bodied and complex, here’s a modern dessert wine with sumptuous aromas of peach and figs. Subtle wooden notes thanks to spending 18-months in some big old barrels. Goes well with a meal of nuts, fig, dates, citrus or pear.

My favourite tasting of the night: I love the sweetness of dessert wine but this one had a slight acidity to it. That meant it was in no way sickly and was somehow refreshing, so a title like Eastshade would be a good match. The colour of the wine even reminds me of the golden sunset glow in game.

Quevedo LBV Port 2013

A late bottled vintage port lovingly aged for six years. Velvety caramel with a massive smack of vanilla and strawberries, and a hint of cherry bakewell tart. Goes well with cheese and roasted almonds after a delicious dinner.

A refined tipple. I’m not a port person but this one made me reconsider: it was incredibly smooth and like dessert in a glass. We felt it would be perfect for after Christmas dinner, sipping it on the sofa while playing cards, so how about a few rounds of solitaire with a game like Shadowhand?

Let’s end this post with a line suggested by Pete in his wine-induced morning haze: wine is fine, especially at game time. I’m now turning off the laptop and going to find the paracetamol.

34 thoughts on “Pour decisions: wine with video games

  1. Woooo I’m so glad to learn it’s not just me who pairs alcoholic drinks with games 😅 While I’m not too educated about wine, I’ll happily pair plum wine or sake with Final Fantasy XIV 😁


  2. Have I ever told you how much I love the puns in your titles?

    Most (if not all) of these wines don’t really sound English. Come to think of it, is there even much wine produced in the UK? As far as I know, vines like a rather dry and warm climate, both of which the UK is not particularly famous for 🙂

    Also: Do you mind if I “steal” your idea, but kind of reverse it? The idea you gave me just now is to get some drinks from video games and recreate them!

    Also also: If you like wine, I know a few winemakers in Austria, so if you visit next year, we could take a day or two to taste our range (although they mostly make white wine, but we do have a few delicious red ones as well)

    Liked by 3 people

      • I just checked out your Spirit’n’Sprites Challenge: I’ll definitely try those! I’ll do the Truth first, because I like White Russians.

        Instead of working, today, I have thought a lot about what drinks I’d like to bring to life and how they should taste. For about four of them I have pretty concrete ideas already. In the next few days I’ll have to do some testing! I can think of worse fates 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

          • If you bring the series back, pleaso do something with Scotch from Islay, that’s my favourite 🙂

            I’ll let you know as soon as I have my first entry 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            • There’s a channel on YouTube called “How To Drink” where a guy basically mixes drinks and stuff and recreates drinks from videogames, shows and whatever. If you wanna recreate some yourself, I’d definitely recommend checking out that channel and look at some of his ideas to take/gather some ideas/inspiration. 🙂
              https://youtu.be/LeM0XYpz36o?t=2 – in this one he (I forgot his name and cba to search for it) creates the Estus Flask from Dark Souls and gives it his own personal touch… I mean, it’s a fantasy drink, isn’t it? He also made the blue/red potion from the early Zelda games and some GoT-drinks that are really cool!

              Liked by 2 people

  3. I love this whole concept of pairing drinks with games haha I haven’t heard of any of these wines, but it sounds like you had a delicious and fun time (both drinking the wines and pairing with games)!


  4. Love this post! I’m working on a Zelda and wine pairing post (will probably actually be at least 2 posts). Wine and games are a great combo! Also Eastshade looks gorgeous, I really need to play it


    • Ooh, I look forward to reading your post! And yes, do play Eastshade if you get the opportunity – it’s such a lovely game. Perfect with a glass of wine even. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. First of all, I love those puns, Kim 😀
    Secondly, I’m not much of a red wine fan. I love white wine (being from a region with tons of white wine, it’s not that hard to guess) and I love everything sweet, cocktail-wise. I once mixed myself a Mexikan (hot sauce, tequila (vodka and korn work as well), tomato jouice, salt n pepper) to go with Guacamelee! It’s a bit cliche, tbh. I also enjoy all kinds of Gin-variants and Pernod to go with other games. There’s a Gin from my hometown (Traben-Trarbach) that is made with vineyard-herbs and it’s absolutely lovely. In a bar called “Chez Matthieu” there’s a Gin-variant called the “Matthieu” and it’s basically that Gin combined with red grape juice and Cointreau! While it may sound weird, it actually tastes great!

    and well… videogames and alcohol always mix well together but drinking with others is always better than drinking alone, of course 🙂


    • Matthieu sounds awesome… I’d definitely give it a go! 😀

      I don’t drink much white wine but can highly recommend Ken Forrester’s The FMC. And we tried the Klein Risesling S Trocken at the tasting event last weekend, which was pretty nice too! Now all you need to do is find the perfect games to go with them. 😉


  6. What a fun and creative post! I really enjoyed reading this one. 😁 I love a good wine myself and the ones you described and tasted makes me want to grab one of my own.


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  9. I hate drinking and gaming but I’m not a huge drinker plus I get mad when I miss my shots and when I’m drinking I’m only missing shots so it just doesn’t work out well


    • I enjoy video games and I like a glass of wine, but it’s very rare that I actually have them together! Except that one time when we played Dancing Stage MegaMix… not a good idea.

      Liked by 1 person

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