Wine Cellar Preview

Wine Cellar Preview

Compete against rival sommeliers as you bid on wines that are up for auction. Your placement and planning will determine the value of the wines you add to your collection. Let’s check out Wine Cellar, designed by Andrew Stiles and published by 25th Century Games.

Distinguished Taste

Wine Cellar is a blind bidding game where players will bid against their opponents to collect a bottle of wine from the center of the table. Each player is dealt 8 wine cards at the start of the game. You also get two client cards, choosing one and discarding the other. Client cards give you end game scoring based on the type of wine and country of origin. There’s very little guidance in how you pick this client card, but it does give you a clearly defined goal to work toward.

Wine Cellar - client cards

During the 8 rounds of Wine Cellar, you’ll use the cards in your hand to bid against your rival sommeliers. The large black number at the top of the wine card is your bidding value. At the start of the round, there will be a wine card for each of the players in the center of the table. These are the wine bottles that you’ll bid for during this round.

Players will simultaneously play a card from their hand, representing their bid for the current selection of wine. The person with the highest bid will select the wine of their choice, followed by the next highest bid. After each wine card is drafted, a new selection of wines is made from all the cards that players used to bid with.

Each round follows this format until everyone drafts their 8th and final bottle of wine.

Wine Cellar - player hand

A Collector of Fine Wine

Planning is everything when you’re an up and coming wine collector. As you add new wine bottles to your collection, you must add them to the top or bottom of your display. Wine bottles can never be inserted between two wines in your display.

Each wine bottle has a chart that shows its value based on its placement in your collection. For instance, a red wine may be worth 8 points if it’s in the number 2 position, but only worth 4 points in the number 5 position. Planning is everything as your collection grows with each new round.

Wine Cellar - wine collection

Wine Cellar challenges players to make the best decision with every new bottle added to their collection. There will be rounds where you’re eying one specific bottle and another player outbids you, taking that perfect card. Your client card works as a great way to still collect points when when your plans get foiled.

This bidding/auction game has really impressed us with the level of player interaction. Wine Cellar plays in around 20 minutes and supports up to 8 players, which is a huge plus. Turns are quick as bids are made simultaneously and cards are chosen from the center of the table. This game reminds us a lot of games like For Sale and Modern Art, but has a style all its own.

Wine Cellar scoring

The artwork for the game was done by Vincent Dutrait and really adds to how classy this game looks on the table. The box art feels sophisticated but you don’t have to be a wine lover to enjoy the game. Many times, I use my teenage kids as a gauge for whether a game will be something that the family can enjoy for years to come. All 3 of my kids have jumped into Wine Cellar and it’s easy to convince them to play a round or two with friends.

Wine Cellar uses easy to teach mechanics and gives players tough decisions as they build their near perfect wine collection. This is going to scratch that itch for fans of auction games that are looking for something new to add to their game shelf.

Wine Cellar will be on Kickstarter in May 2024 from 25th Century Games.

A prototype of the game was provided for this coverage. Components and rules covered in this preview are not finalized. Read more about our preview policies at One Board Family.

Ryan Gutowski

I'm a huge fan of strategy games and pretty much anything that involves "city building". My love of board games goes back to my childhood and passion for building relationships with others.

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Andrew Stiles

Thank you so very much for talking about my game Wine Cellar, your kind words make my heart smile. I deeply appreciate that you took the time to play and enjoyed it. Play it in good health!

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