LORDS OF WATERDEEP & FONSECA TAWNY PORT
Yay my first wine and board game pairing! I have been so excited to start pairing board games with wine. This past weekend I went on a winter retreat with some of my friends and we managed to play more board games then than we did during a 24 hour game-a-thon fundraising event. We have so many board games between us that I think we could have easily stayed for a whole week and not gotten bored at all (no pun intended).
Most board games have a fictional setting and story to go along with your goals for the game, but Lords of Waterdeep is unique in that it comes from the Dungeons and Dragons universe made by Wizards of the Coast. During the game, players take up the role of one of the masked Lords of Waterdeep in an attempt to gain the most influence over the city. Its a worker placement game, meaning that you must place your pawns strategically in order to gather resources and complete quests. I really enjoy worker placement games, but one thing that I think this game does exceptionally well is that nothing gets too convoluted too fast. You have a number of choices for what to do with your workers, but not so many choices that you end up feeling overwhelmed. The game also creates just enough interaction between the players to create feisty competition, but the balanced gameplay keeps it from ever getting too tense. If someone takes the spot that you were headed for, its easy to change up your plans and obtain your goal a different way, especially as the game progresses.
Now forgive me, but I do love puns. And so when I was thinking of a wine to pair with this game, I thought...Lords of Waterdeep must be paired with a port...because its only fitting (get it!? Waterdeep? Port? Coastal city?). Not to mention that when I think of port, I think of a rich, lush, fortified wine fit only for a lord. And thus my friends and I found ourselves sipping happily on Fonseca Tawny Port during our play through of Lords of Waterdeep. This port has a rich ruby color with a hint of burnt orange. The flavor was smooth, rich, and very sweet but without that sickly tongue coating feeling that you get from other sweet wine. Delicious notes of jam, spices, and caramel accompany every luscious sip. And this may just be the designer in me, but I love that elaborate glass bottle next to the exquisitely and intricately designed board game. Ahh, a wine fit for a lord.