The Sparkling Swap To Give Beer Pong A Fancy Twist

Even though beer pong is seen as a fun but low-brow college party game, it has old-school Ivy League origins. Its invention is attributed to Dartmouth fraternities during the 1950s, so even though nothing seems stylish or sophisticated about tossing ping-pong balls into cups of beer and making your opponents chug them, classing the whole game up isn't such a wild idea.

Tossing your ping-pong balls into Champagne glasses instead adds a touch of elegance to "beer" pong, so you won't feel so immature when you play a round. Even if you use plastic glasses, or a less expensive sparkling wine like Prosecco, this is a grown-up, classy upgrade that's been capitalized on multiple companies. Prosecco Pong, released in 2017 by U.K. party supplies and game specialist Talking Tables, is a kit that helps you set up your own Prosecco-based game of pong. This product, with its distinctive pink ping-pong balls and plastic glasses, has since become a favorite at parties and events.

Several similar games have been released in the wake of Prosecco Pong's success, including Party Pong and Wine Glass Pong. The basics are the same for each: You play with glasses of sparkling wine and plastic balls, and the "losers" are obliged to sip, not chug, when the balls are tossed into their coupe-style cups.

The basics of sparkling wine pong

One doesn't need to buy an entire game set or a portable beer pong table to enjoy this game. All you need are the appropriate plastic coupe glasses (or real ones, if you're not afraid of chips or breakage), plus a large, flat surface and some ping-pong balls. 

Traditional tables for beer pong are about 8 feet long, but if you're just enjoying a game night among friends, adhering to these strict dimensions isn't really necessary. In fact, such a distance is likely a bit too long, since coupe-style cups for Champagne or Prosecco pong are shallower than beer cups, and thus more prone to losing wine when ping-pong balls splash into them. A less long table can help reduce impact and excessive spilling.

In beer pong, six or 10 cups is the standard set-up per team, with glasses arranged pyramid-style like bowling pins. A smaller amount of cups is recommended for the sparkling wine version, at least according to Talking Tables, inventor of the Prosecco Pong game. That means six plastic glasses should be arranged on either end of the table, in the classic triangle shape. However, if you're playing with a few friends rather than in a party atmosphere, you can downscale the number of glasses for a more manageable game.

There are no losers in sparkling wine pong

The rules for playing beer pong can easily be adapted for a more elegant version of sparkling wine pong, and can be modified to suit any occasion. In most cases, teams will take turns tossing or bouncing balls into the opposing team's coupe cups. Bouncing is more valuable, at least according to official beer pong rules, as a bounce shot means that one's opponent has to consume two cups (or sips, in this case) instead of just one.

The beauty of sparkling wine pong is that there really are no losers. Everyone gets to enjoy glasses of effervescent bubbly, and everyone gets to spend time in the company of friends. Sipping the wine instead of chugging beer also makes for a more enjoyable experience where you won't be (literally) under the table after just a few rounds. This more elegant version of pong is also more suitable for low-key events, and is particularly popular with women. Redbook and Brides have both promoted the game as a great activity for bachelorette parties.