Fantasy football "wine" leauges, and my spoils from this season

If you play fantasy football and haven’t gathered other wine-loving friends to create a league centered around wine, I highly recommend you do so. We’ve been doing our league for quite a few years now and I won this year. Each season’s winner gets to declare the next season’s buy-in theme with freedom to be as generic or as geeky as they please. This year was a very generic year with last season’s winner specifying, “Any red wine or a Scotch from Islay.” We always provide a cost floor of $100 (before taxes, shipping, actual bottle cost) so that there’s a bar set. It’s an eight-person league and the winner gets five bottles, second place gets two, and third place gets one. After the season, the top three teams choose bottles in a 3-1-1 then 2-1 allocation. That way, the second and third place teams don’t just get handed the three “worst” bottles. This year, my spoils:

2020 Château Canon-la-Gaffelière St. Émilion
2020 Doubleback Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley
2017 Passing Time Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley
2020 Château Haut-Bailly Pessac-Léognan
Ardbeg Corryvreckan Islay Single Malt Scotch

Does / has anyone else participated in a league like this? Any winnings or stories to share?


fun grouping and fine idea about theme-choosing, Brandon. We sort of have this (with a slightly lower floor and no theme-declaration) for one of my fantasy baseball leagues, with an added bottle for most-improved after August 1 (in order to keep lower-tier teams engaged). Congrats on your win as well!

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Keeping that lower tier engaged is a great idea, although a bit tough with only eight teams.

The reason for the dollar-value floor is we had one league member that used to push the lower limits of our “suggested” pricing. In other words, he was cheap.

Last place should get Caymus.

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My most recent bottles from the baseball league Mike mentioned were the 2019 Royal Nonesuch Farm and a Texier “serine” (2015 maybe?). I’ve had some all over the board in the past including an Abreu (that covered more than one bottle owed), a Montebello, a Beaucastel, an '83 Graham’s, and some others.

Agree, great fun.

As for last place, we don’t do this but I did once find myself on the highway behind a car with a license plate frame that said “I suck at fantasy football.”

We started in 2001 and formed over on the old WCWN bulletin board. Having no definitive proof, but lacking any proof to the contrary, I claim that we are the world’s oldest wine-centric fantasy sports league.

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