Boggle vs. Scrabble

So, I was readin’ the ol’ WSJ the other day, and I came across an article about my man Stephen Tanzer.

As any reader of this blog will likely know, I’ve been a Tanzer man a long, long time; since even before my days at Ridge (hard to believe there WAS such a time!).

I certainly admire him professionally, and I also tend to align with him palate-wise. So I was very pleased to see him getting adulated in the pages of the venerable Wall Street Journal, and I credit Jay McInerney for highlighting this most worthy subject.

A Critic Who Favors Finesse Over Power

Finesse over power. It’s an interesting way to look at things, and I was intrigued. Truth be told though, the article, to my way of reading, seemed to spend an arguably regrettable amount of time wading in the waters of the Parker paradigm; the universe in which all things seems to exist only in relationship to Robert Parker; it’s galaxial, with Parker as the sun, and everyone else being measured by their relative proximity.

So, here’s another way of looking at things: In the world of wine, you might say there are Boggle people, and there are Scrabble people.


Boggle is defined by the timer. Scrabble is not.

That said, Boggle relies on lots of words, and so does Scrabble.

But, Boggle rewards speed. Scrabble rewards deliberation.

That said, success at Boggle requires agility with language. Same for Scrabble.

But, Boggle is all about drama, excitement, and adrenalin. Scrabble is not.

That said, both games require sensory acuity; the ability to ascertain possibility and potential resident in raw and unfocused material.

But, in Boggle there is no continuity, no connectivity, no long-term threads, links, or relationships. Scrabble is all about connections, inter-relationships, overlaps, and mutual beneficialities.

That said, both reward practice, and earned expertise.

But, Boggle is all about dramatic impact in the moment. Scrabble rewards subtle effect over the long-term.

That said, they are both point games.

The point being, there are things that unite us, and things that differentiate us.

Lovers of one or both of the games can all agree; we love words and language, just as all of us in the world of wine love wine.

But in the end, there are Boggle people, and there are Scrabble people.

Me? I’m a Scrabble people.


Full disclosure, Stephen Tanzer does review our wines, and has in fact done so rather favorably before. The same can be said for Robert Parker, and the Wine Advocate as well.

For some recent reviews from Mr. Tanzer, please click here:

And for some recent reviews of Ridge wines in the Wine Advocate, please click here:

Categories: Press Reviews, Tasting Notes, Viticultural Salmagundi

Tags: , , , , , , ,

3 replies

  1. I love both of these games! I’m a bobble? scraggle? person?

  2. Scrabble all the way. I knew I liked you for a reason.

  3. Me? I “gets eleven points off the word ‘quagmire’…”.

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