Lifestyle

Sniff your computer and look thoughtful before reading this

Because tasting jargon can get so complicated you need crib notes (which, by the way, you'll get in wines aged in baby beds), level the playing field with Proof, a Scotch-sampling party game just created by Twin Cities ad boutique Zeus Jones, who kept things simple enough for even the greenest palates to enjoy. To help you get in the mood, why not think about Proof as you would a fine bottle?

The Nose: Before diving into Proof's rich gameplay, sniff out who's showing up to the party, and prep things by entering each player name, and each single malt y'all will be sampling (their database something like 250 bottles). Then download and print each guest a Player Mat, which has spaces for mystery glasses ("A", B", etc) to help keep things organized. Pour, place samples of 'em on the mats, and set aside, allowing to breathe and evolve, aka "sit there".

The Body: Now you're primed to really enjoy this thing, and should be starting to get hints of... everyone being excited for your game. Give each guest a turn with each unlabeled booze, during which you'll pass 'em the iPad (though a laptop also works), and let them 1) guess what they're tasting, 2) rate each (from "I'm only drinking this from now on" to "I'd only use this to strip furniture"), and 3) describe each on a 360-degree matrix with dimensions like "rich", "fruity", and "hair on the chest", so expect Nathan Lane to do well here.

The Finish: Compare flavor-matrices to spark conversation/debate, then score who guessed right on what. Congratulate the winners, tell the losers it was all for fun, then sit back, and in a day or two, you should be getting notes of "thank you, that was a great party!".