It’s the most wonderful time of the year–MARCH MADNESS! And if you’re anything like us, you’ve got the next few weekends blocked off so you can do absolutely nothing but sit on your booty and watch the NCAA tournament. However, we recognize that there are plenty of people out there who are not like us and have no interest in college basketball whatsoever–that’s great! To each their own! And if that’s you and you’re dreading the next month of invites to watch hours of basketball, we have a game for YOU to make March bearable.

Introducing: WINE MADNESS, the March Madness bracket alternative for all you wine-lovers but basketball-haters out there. Here’s how it works:

  1. You’ll need 64 different wines to fill out a full Wine Madness bracket. Depending on how many people you’re inviting to participate, figure out how many bottles each person needs to bring. The best way to make sure no one brings the same bottles is to send out a Google Sheets sign up so all participants can see what everyone else is bringing!
  2. Once everyone has arrived with their bottles, have one person be the keeper-of-the wines. All wine labels will be removed and labeled as #1-64, and the KOTW will keep a record of which number corresponds to which wine. (You can also play a paired-down version of only 32 or 16 bottles.)
  3. Set up your bracket! Using a blank 64 team bracket just like a March Madness bracket, pit each wine against an opponent–the best way to start building the bracket is to pit whites against reds as much as possible. All 64 wines get to be a part of the first round. From there, each person will get one sip of all contenders and choose their winner. Majority vote will send a wine on to the second round! (If there’s an even number of people participating, decide what your tie breaker will be before starting the game–it could be rock, paper, scissors between two people who voted differently, a penny flip, or whatever sounds most fun!)
  4. Continue through the bracket until you have a champion!

*Note: this game will be most fun, and most safe, if you play it slowly. We suggest either playing the whole wine tournament while watching one NCAA game, taking tastes every time a timeout is called or there’s a commercial break, OR playing the wine tournament in tandem with the whole March Madness tournament–first round of wines during the first round of basketball, down to the next 32, Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final Four, and Championship. This requires that the whole group comes together to watch at least one games of each round of March Madness!

Let the madness begin, and go Zags!