21 May Please The Palate Pick of the Week: Water & Wines Wine Puzzles
Studying wine, especially Italian wine, can be challenging. Puzzles, which require an eye for detail, as well as patience, are also a challenge. Combine the two and you get Water & Wines Wine Puzzles, the Please The Palate pick of the week.
I love a good challenge. I love details, as after all, I am an event planner and details are logistics are my life. I also love puzzles but have never challenged myself to do a 1000 piece puzzle until now. I received the Italy Wine Puzzle from Water and Wines and got started!
Water and Wines Puzzles was created by Yamit Viitaoja-Malmberg, a sommelier based in Stockholm, Sweden. Yamit passed her Sommelier exams in 2020, just as Covid stopped everything. But it did not stop Yamit from creating a challenging and educational product. She started puzzle-making as a meditative act but combined it with her passion for wine.
Yamit worked with sommeliers around the world, as well as with illustrators, to create maps of Italy, France, and Spain. These first puzzles were released in mid-2021 and already they have wine puzzles for nine countries! There are wine puzzles for Italy, France, Spain, California, Australia, Portugal, Germany, and South Africa, as well as a whisky puzzle for Scotland.
The puzzles are a fun way to learn about wine regions, appellations, and the grape varieties. There are also images of food, flowers, and people that represent particular aspects of different appellations. You do not have to be an expert on a region to enjoy these puzzles but when you finish, your knowledge of the regions and grapes will have increased.
When I started the puzzle, it was a bit intimidating. As Italy is surrounded by water, there were a lot of blue pieces. I had no idea how I would ever figure it out. But, after pulling the border pieces out, I started to match up the grape names. Then, knowing that Arneis is in Piemonte and Cattarrato is in Sicily, I started to see everything fall into place. Of course, it helped to use the colorful map as a reference.
It took a couple of weeks to finish but I did! I just love the colorful illustrations that were pieced together on recyclable materials printed in compliance with the toughest environmental standards in the EU.
Not only is a Water and Wines Puzzle a fun and educational activity, but the female-led company is also focused on giving back to help improve global access to drinking water. For every puzzle sold, they make a donation to Charity Water. So, whether you are studying wine, or like challenging puzzles, or both, Water and Wines Puzzles are a fun activity to have at home. And, priced at $49, they also make great gifts for your wine and puzzle loving friends!