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A Wine Picture Game
Copyright 2002 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved. Originally printed January 4, 2002. For more information go to

If you're checking in from your workplace or you're in a hurry today, you might want to put this edition aside until you have a little more time on your hands. I say this because there's a good chance that once you get to today's featured link, you're going to be stuck there for a while.

Remember those little plastic novelty games you used to play with when you were a kid - a square frame containing 15 little tiles that you could slide around with a fingertip, trying to make them line up with all the numbers in sequence?

The good folks at, where Lisa Shea is the "guide" to information about wine, have come up with an online variation of this addictive old toy: It's a trio of attractive wine-related pictures that you can use your mouse to click and drag, moving 15 visual tiles around until they drop into place and form a picture. The computer keeps score, and if you beat the previous record, you can submit your name for listing and all the honor and glory that come with it.

The games come in three levels of difficulty: A FAIRLY simple picture of a Pinot Noir bunch in New York's Millbrook Vineyards (OK, I confess, I gave up after 97 moves) ... a more difficult image of wine barrels at Westport Rivers winery in Massachusetts ... and a scene of Chardonnay vines at Westport Rivers, a devilishly challenging puzzle in which every square looks almost exactly the same.

If you find this kind of thing relaxing, challenging or fun (and who doesn't?), you can click to the Grape Picture Square Games or click directly to each puzzle at these links:

Basic Level Pinot Noir Game

Intermediate Level Wine Barrels Game

Advanced Level Vineyards Square Game

A couple of technical notes: To play the game, it appears that your browser must have Java enabled. And if you can't stand "pop-up" advertising windows, you may find unbearable. (Personally, I simply click the button to dispose of the intrusive windows as soon as they appear.)

If you play, let me know how you did!


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