21/10/2020

๐Ÿท➕๐ŸŽฎ Vino + Video Games ๐Ÿท➕๐ŸŽฎ @TNTracklists

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Alex has been a long-time friend of Games Freezer. 

A rising talent in the Welsh wine scene, he has taken some time out of his busy schedule of sippin’ and spittin’ (also the names of his pet hamsters) to answer some of the most pertinent questions asked by those of us that like to combine gaming and grenache. 

Britt: Alex, I’m sure you’ve paired many wines with meals in your career but I’m assuming that this is the first time that you have had to match your Metal Gear Solids with your Chilean Merlots...

First of all, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to do this for us here at Games Freezer. Can you give a brief background of your gaming history? 

What was your first console or system and the games that stand out in your memory?

Alex: My earliest gaming memory is sitting in my grandparents' living room playing a vertical scrolling shooter on the Atari 2600. IT. WAS. BASIC. 

So much fun though and severely addictive if I remember correctly. Other early memories would include Doom, Quake, Command and Conquer Red Alert and Rise of the Triad

My relationship with gaming is sporadic. The mood may only catch me a couple of times a year but when it does, I can end up inhaling whatever has taken my fancy. I look at you F1 2016.

Britt: I happen to know that you are a fan of rage-inducing platform games of a high difficulty such as Super Meat Boy, which wines do you tend to refer to as a pairing with this particular teeth-grinding genre?

Alex: Yes, I remember thinking "Ah, I'll just pop this on for half an hour...". 10 hours later, there I was leaning back, groaning and looking at the heavens, praying for the eternal darkness which I knew would never come. I was frustrated, I was. 

Wine-wise, I don't think you want to be going for anything too earthy or spicy because it will simply exacerbate your anger. I find Pinot Noir quite calming so I think I'd go for that (check out Spรคtburgunder for God's sake).

Britt: If someone was playing a lengthy Role-Playing or Life Simulation game that they'd probably spend some pretty long sessions with - what kind of wine would you imagine as a pairing?

Alex: For a game that you would fully immerse yourself in over a period of time, I think something elegant and structured would be a good match. 

Something you can sip and slowly enjoy. I'll say an Oregon Chardonnay because I had one last night and it was insanely good. 

You have to take your time with it. I wouldn't go for anything too clockable like a low-tannin, fruity wine because you'll drink it too fast and before you know it you won't be able to tell if you're playing Final Fantasy or Condemned.

Britt: The competitive first-person shooter genre is massive now; with quick reflexes and high skill levels at a premium. In these cases, which grape would you reach for?

Alex: Well, if you need to have your wits about you and you're doing something precise like sniping, a big hitter like an Aussie Shiraz will not increase your chances of survival in the battlefield. 

I remember slowly setting up to snipe someone from forty miles away once and it was only when I pulled the trigger that I realised I had inadvertently attached a scope to a shotgun. It was quite ineffective. I wasn't even under the influence either. I think I'm just thick.

Anyway, I would go for a light, refreshing wine to maximise your capabilities. A Spรคtlese Riesling would be just the ticket!

Britt: There are those out there that enjoy Walking Simulators, titles that exist purely as lightly interactive tales that reveal themselves gradually to the player via a more laid-back genre. in these cases, which wine would you suggest as a suitable companion?

Alex: Well, I'd say a nice bright sparkler to be quite honest with you. I assume with games like that the action doesn't come thick and fast so you don't want to send yourself to sleep by sipping an overly alcoholic monolith. I'm going to say a lovely Crรฉmant D'Alsace. Viciously moreish :)

Britt: A lot of our readers enjoy the comfort of diving into an older, more familiar title to relax their minds. If you were to tuck into a comfortable old game to unwind after a long day, which wine would you have at your side as you did so?

Alex: I know what you're saying....you want to know what I'd drink with Syphon Filter 2, don't you? 

If I came home after a stressful day at work and I wanted to play something comforting and familiar, I think I'd be pulling the cork on something commensurate. 

With that in mind, I think I'd ideally go for Altos De Tamaron, the first Ribera Del Duero I ever had and the reason I now love that region so much. That would be an evening of nostalgia!

Britt: This is one for the puzzle-heads out there. Some games require some serious pulsation of the grey matter. Which wines would you suggest match up nicely with some of the more brain-teasing games?

Alex: Ooof that is a tough one. There is something about Sangiovese that screams contemplation and profound thinking to me, so I'd say possibly a nice Chianti Rufina. If you're interested (of course you are), try grabbing a 2015. It'll really shake your branches.

Britt: Racing games come in a wide variety of styles form simulation to drift-racers and over-the-top arcade action. Which wines would you say are the perfect complement to those moments when the wind is racing through your hair?

Alex: Firstly, I'd just like to say that I don't advocate banging down a hangar straight at 200 miles an hour with a glass of Malbec in your hand. I'm not a safety steward by any stretch but that really seems irresponsible. 

I suppose when you're playing a simulator it's slightly safer. Considering the amount of time you have to grab a glass while playing these games, I think you need to be going for something good that will sustain you for anything up to a whole lap. 

Each sip needs to sit on your palate for as long as possible because you won't have many opportunities to drink (I think it was James Hunt that said that actually). I'm going to say a wonderfully complex character like a Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon. Just the ticket!

Britt: The newest FIFA game has just been released and it’s fair to say that football = lager. If there are some readers out there that lean towards the wine side of life, what wines would you trust as you worked your way through the Premier League?

Alex: Well, you know what they say: "When you're playing on a field, always go for low yield". Carling is urine, isn't it? It's depressingly pallid and it should never be produced. It's often linked to football and I think that now is the time to turn the tide and introduce some concentration of flavour to the sport. I'm thinking either a Mendoza Syrah or a Margeret River Cabernet Sauvignon. I don't think I'll be converting anybody anytime soon but you've got to start somewhere!


Britt: Alex, thank you for taking the time to chat with us and also to expand our minds in terms of that most wonderful of drinks. 

Where can we keep up to date with your news and posts?

Alex: It was a pleasure to do this, thanks for having me! 

Totally outside my comfort zone but great fun :). 

You can find my ramblings here:

www.tntracklists.com 

https://twitter.com/TNTracklists?s=09

Thanks very much!

BRITT

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