This advertising content was produced in collaboration with our partner, Chablis.
For centuries, the white wines of Chablis have captivated the hearts and palates of wine professionals and drinkers alike, but how much do you really know about the French wine region? With the release of the newly updated online game, Unlock Chablis, the wine trade and enthusiasts can put their knowledge to the test.
The Bourgogne Wine Board created the game to connect wine professionals with the region through an entertaining and modern style of interactive education, which can be played alone or as part of a team. Although the original game came out in 2022, a newly updated version was released in May, with a new chapter explaining the Burgundian subregion’s intricacies. Each chapter contains thought-provoking questions, guided prompts, and treasure hunts that reveal aspects of Chablis’ terroir and history, winemaking story, and food and wine pairing diversity.
By opening virtual bottles and unlocking secret notes hidden inside, players learn how monks in Chablis cultivated Chardonnay centuries ago. They can master the vinification through a series of memory and matching games and understand the meaning behind some of Chablis’ most important wine descriptors. And new scenarios have been added to the game that tackle various natural instances winemakers face in the vineyard, like frost.
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A Fun Educational Tool
“Unlock Chablis is a much more fun way to learn about the history and nuances of Chablis,” says Julia Coney, a wine consultant and the founder of Black Wine Professionals. “The information sticks because you’re playing and learning simultaneously. And we rarely get to intertwine playfulness and wine, especially when learning about wine.”
Coney used the game earlier this year as she prepared to teach wine professionals at the Chablis Scholar Series, a national education program that hosts masterclass events about the region across the U.S. For Coney herself, Unlock Chablis was the perfect refresher on the overall wine region but also reignited her interest in the complex white wines made there.
“I like Chardonnay, and I’ve always liked Chardonnay. But playing this game made me want to reconsider and pay more attention to Chablis Chardonnay specifically and find producers that I might like in Chablis. It unlocked my knowledge and my curiosity,” Coney says.
While Unlock Chablis can be an asset to wine professionals looking to brush up on the region, the game is a creative tool for those looking to educate the unfamiliar, says May Matta-Aliah, the wine educator behind In The Grape who is set to lead the annual Bring Your Own Chablis events in Miami and Washington D.C. this year.
“If you’re a beverage director or sommelier at a restaurant, this is a great resource for staff training on the region of Chablis,” says Matta-Aliah. “It engages people. It incentivizes players to get to the next level and presents problem-solving challenges that are fun and engaging.”
Reaching a Broader Audience
Unlock Chablis may also be helpful for people teaching students enrolled in wine courses and those enrolled in hospitality programs who aren’t necessarily studying wine specifically. Matta-Aliah, who has led wine classes at New York City College of Technology, says the game would have “come in handy while educating young students who weren’t so interested in wine,” as well as those who needed a more hands-on approach to learning.
“Everyone learns differently. So let’s give as many different tools as possible to educators, beverage directors, sommeliers, wine writers—anybody looking to up their knowledge of wine,” says Matta-Aliah. “Exploring teaching methods beyond a textbook can be really valuable
With mounting reports that the wine category is struggling to retain millennial drinkers, Unlock Chablis also presents an opportunity to communicate wine more effectively and drive interest in a way that could be positive for the greater wine industry. “I think we are just at a crossroads right now where wine is still so serious in many places. Whereas Unlock Chablis makes learning so much fun and is a creative way to get people engaged and interacting with the wines of Chablis,” says Coney. “I think a lot of other wine regions can learn from what they’ve done.”
To test your knowledge of the wine region, play the Unlock Chablis game here.
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