Truth and Dare and Wine

Quarters I've always enjoyed playing games, partly because of my competitive nature but also because a good, well-designed game can reveal a lot about the players. And I like revelation.

The first game (not sport) that I was really good at was "Quarters". For some reason I was coordinated in such a way that I could bounce that quarter into a glass of liquid repeatedly. I was scary-good! In college I was the ringer that would be placed in quarters games where money was at stake. It wasn't quite a living, but I was good at it.

Quarters is, of course, a drinking game. I hadn't thought about my Quarters Career in a long time until the other night when I was prompted to recall not just my successes at forcing other people to drink too much after challenging me, but also the moment years ago when I came face-to-face with a person who made my skill look pathetic and also made me look pathetic after being trounced. This defeat put an end to my professional Quarters career. But the memory made me begin to think about games that are good to play with wine on the table.

The following list may just be a list of some of my favorite games. But It's also a list of games that are fun to drink to. Wine is a good accompaniment to these games not because the games demand someone being forced to drink, but because a little liquid lubrication always makes these games more interesting.

1. Jenga
In my experience, there is a certain advantage to having a little bit of wine in your system as you attempt to build a larger structure of blocks by removing blocks from the lower level of the structure. The herky-jerky motion that can be disastrous to the building process isn't quite so pronounced after a hand-calming couple of glasses of Rhone.

2. Apples to Apples
Simple game. Players match one of the nouns they have on one of seven cards with an adjective provided by the person who will judge which of the nouns presented by the players provides the most entertaining match. This is a very revealing game; revealing of players' wits, historical knowledge, cultural knowledge, and even their current disposition. Again, a little wine often helps loosen the players willingness to make odd, but revealing matches. I've learned a great deal about many people playing this game for hours over many bottles of wine.

3. Truth or Dare
Truth or Dare isn't really a game, is it. Nevertheless, it is turn-based, questions are asked and deeds are done. The rules tend to be flexible and often change as the game goes forward. Truth or Dare is a game that held great significance for me  and my personal development in my pre-teen and teen years. It has also been a game that has cropped up now and again in my adult years. One version of the game has the person who chooses either "truth" or "dare" drinking a shot of very strong alcohol if they choose to not answer the question or do the dare they say they will do. I'm not a fan of this rule. That said, I can't imagine playing truth or dare today without a good glass of wine nearby.

4. Scattergories
For those of you who know and have played this vocabulary game, you'll probably have noticed that it's a game that also tests one's ability to sell a dubious proposition to your game mates. You have to have a certain amount of wine in you to go about trying to convince a group of people that a "Pommaria" is the name of a tiny, red, stone fruit beginning with the letter P that is only grown on the island of Corsica where it is made into a liqueur that isn't exported.

5. Pictionary
Face it, how much fun is it to watch a person who has had three or four glasses of wine try to draw a picture of "Thought Police"?


8 Responses

  1. Amy Shropshire - June 25, 2009

    Great suggestions! My mates and I always play the game when you’re watching a movie or TV show and you pick a word that every time its said you toast! Was great during the election… Everytime Obama said ‘Change’ or McCain said ‘Maverick!’

  2. Benito - June 25, 2009

    Glad to see the mention of Apples 2 Apples, particularly because it requires no prior experience and only takes seconds to learn. By far my favorite post-dinner party game, and with the right group of people the arguments can be more fun than the game itself.

  3. Ryan Reichert - June 25, 2009

    Scattergories is a favorite – double points for well-done alliteration!

  4. Chicago Pinot - June 26, 2009

    Quarters is a game of knowledge, skill and complex strategy. You understate its importance by referring to it as just a “drinking game.”

  5. Sarah - June 29, 2009

    Good post. So helpful. Thank you.

  6. Dylan - July 1, 2009

    Don’t forget about taboo. That buzzer has a way of adding laughter to the situation like nothing else.

  7. Chandni Patel - July 14, 2009

    Apples to Apples is so good, that I even play it sober. Bold statement, but true. And a great way to figure out someone’s sense of humor or lack thereof.

  8. Dareupyourparty - April 20, 2011

    I am a great fan and aficionado of the game Truth or Dare. And since I have played it – also with young adults – I have to say that I LOVE the drinking of shots rule.
    All has to stay within reason of course. No binge drinking or the fun is over. But without getting people liberated a lot, most crazyer actions would not happen so easily.
    ps: I am even building a website all around this and other party games 🙂

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