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Pairing wines with video games: a delightful, immersive journey

Combining the worlds of wine and video games can create an enjoyable and immersive experience. Here, db pairs ten wines with video games, matching their unique characteristics to enhance your gaming sessions.

Pairing wines with food has been a time-honoured tradition, but what if we take it a step further and pair wines with video games? Just as with culinary experiences, the rich tapestry of flavors in wine can complement and enhance the gaming experience. Here’s a guide to matching ten exceptional wines with some of the most iconic video games, creating a multi-sensory experience that elevates both.

Pinot Noir with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Pinot Noir is known for its light to medium body, red fruit flavors, and a touch of earthiness. It is a versatile wine that can be both sophisticated and approachable.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on Nintendo Switch is a game that emphasises exploration, adventure, and the beauty of the natural world. It offers a vast, open world filled with wonder and subtle complexity.

Pinot Noir’s delicate complexity and earthy undertones mirror the serene yet adventurous spirit of Breath of the Wild. The wine’s subtlety enhances the experience of exploring Hyrule’s varied landscapes, much like the game itself reveals its secrets gradually and gracefully.

Chardonnay with Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Another Switch classic, Chardonnay varies widely but often has a creamy texture with flavors of apple, pear, and tropical fruits. Oak-aged Chardonnays add notes of vanilla and butter.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a life-simulation game that offers a relaxing escape where players can create their own island paradise, engage in daily activities, and interact with charming animal villagers.

The smooth and often buttery profile of Chardonnay complements the easy-going, everyday pleasures of “Animal Crossing.” As players decorate their islands and socialize, a glass of Chardonnay enhances the calm, enjoyable ambiance of the game.

Cabernet Sauvignon with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Cabernet Sauvignon is a full-bodied red wine with high tannins and flavors of dark fruits, such as blackberry and black currant, often accompanied by hints of tobacco, leather, and oak.

The Witcher 3, which is available on Xbox and Playstation and PC, is an epic, dark fantasy RPG that follows Geralt of Rivia on his quest to find his adopted daughter. The game is known for its rich storytelling, complex characters, and mature themes.

The bold, intense flavours of Cabernet Sauvignon match the depth and gravitas of the game. The wine’s complexity and strength mirror it’s intricate plot and morally nuanced world, making each sip a reflection of Geralt’s own journey.

Alternatively, there is also an official wine of the game. The Witcher Grand Cru is made from Merlot harvested by hand in 2018 and aged for five years at Château Marrin.

After two years of maturation in the winery and three years of aging in the estate’s cellar, this Saint-Émilion Grand Cru is a “particularly fruity wine with subtle woody notes”, the producer said.

Sauvignon Blanc with Stardew Valley

Sauvignon Blanc is typically crisp and refreshing, with bright acidity and flavors of green apple, citrus, and sometimes tropical fruits. It often has a herbaceous quality.

The game is a farming simulation game where players grow crops, raise animals, and build relationships with the local townsfolk. The game emphasises community, growth, and the joys of rural life.

The crisp, vibrant nature of Sauvignon Blanc complements the fresh, wholesome activities of the game. As players tend to their farms and interact with their neighbours, the wine’s bright and refreshing qualities enhance the simple yet fulfilling pleasures of the game.

Merlot with the Mass Effect Trilogy

Merlot is a medium to full-bodied red wine with softer tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon. It often features flavors of plum, cherry, and chocolate, with a smooth, velvety texture.

The trilogy is a sci-fi RPG series that follows Commander Shepard’s mission to save the galaxy from a powerful ancient threat. The games are known for their deep storytelling, character development, and the player’s ability to make impactful choices.

Merlot’s smooth and approachable nature matches the narrative-driven, character-focused experience of the game. The wine’s rich, layered flavours complement the emotional and moral complexities players encounter as they navigate the galaxy.

Riesling with Overwatch

Riesling is a versatile white wine that ranges from dry to sweet. It is known for its high acidity, floral aromas, and flavors of citrus, stone fruit, and sometimes petrol.

Overwatch is a team-based multiplayer shooter with a diverse cast of heroes, each with unique abilities and roles. The game emphasizes teamwork, strategy, and fast-paced action.

Riesling’s bright acidity and dynamic range of flavors mirror the diverse and energetic nature of gameplay. The wine’s versatility complements the game’s variety of heroes and play-styles, making it a perfect pairing for both casual and competitive play sessions.

Rosé with Fortnite

Fortnite is a popular battle royale game available on most consoles and devices, known for its colourful graphics, creative building mechanics, and a constantly evolving map. The game appeals to a wide online audience with its engaging gameplay and frequent updates.

Rosé is a refreshing, often dry wine that combines the characteristics of red and white wines. It features flavours of red berries, citrus, and melon, with a vibrant and often crisp finish.

Therefore the playful, vibrant nature of rosé complements the fun and dynamic environment of Fortnite. The wine’s refreshing qualities make it an ideal companion for the fast-paced and ever-changing action of the game.

Syrah/Shiraz with Dark Souls

Syrah (or Shiraz) is a full-bodied red wine with bold flavors of dark fruit, black pepper, and sometimes smoky or meaty undertones. It is known for its intensity and depth.

The Dark Souls series is renowned for its challenging gameplay, dark atmosphere, and deep lore. Players navigate a grim world filled with formidable enemies and intricate level designs, requiring patience and skill to succeed.

The intense and complex nature of Syrah mirrors the demanding and richly rewarding experience of the game. The wine’s robust flavours and depth enhance the immersive, somber atmosphere of the game, making each victory taste even sweeter.

Prosecco with Mario Kart

Prosecco is a sparkling wine from Italy, known for its light, bubbly texture and flavors of apple, pear, and floral notes. It is often enjoyed as an aperitif or during celebrations.

The Mario Kart series is a beloved racing game franchise featuring iconic Nintendo characters. The games are known for their fun, chaotic races and power-ups that add an element of unpredictability.

The bubbly, festive nature of Prosecco pairs perfectly with the lighthearted, exhilarating fun of the game. The wine’s effervescence complements the game’s vibrant graphics and fast-paced action, making it a great choice for gaming parties or casual play.

Zinfandel with Red Dead Redemption 2

Zinfandel is a robust red wine with flavours of blackberry, raspberry, and spice. It often has a higher alcohol content and a bold, jammy profile.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is an open-world action-adventure game set in the American Wild West. It is known for its immersive storytelling, detailed world, and the moral complexities of its protagonist, Arthur Morgan.

Zinfandel’s bold, spicy flavors and high alcohol content mirror the rugged, intense atmosphere of this Rockstar Games’ classic.

The wine’s hearty profile complements the game’s epic narrative and the harsh beauty of its setting, making it a fitting companion for a deep dive into the Old West.


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