Archive for September 29th, 2010

Secret Wine Tasting

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Maybe this is the future of wine marketing, maybe it is just a bit of fun.  Either way, PR société, Agence Clair de Lune of Lyon, France has created a bit of a stir with its Secret Wine promotion.

85 wine bloggers from around the world have entered a competition to guess the “appellation” of 3 mystery red wines, mailed out over the last week.

There is bluff and counter bluff going on with bright green replacement corks in non-specific bottles, and apparently randomly numbered labels.  The fact that the PR company is based in Lyon might lead one to think that the wines are from the Rhone or Burgundy.  I am not 100% convinced that they are all even from France, but I am making that leap of faith as a starting point.  Even having made that assumption, is it one appellation showing off its variety, or a region showing diversity, or is something more devious going on?

Psychology works.  There is a mood on the Secret Wine website (voters choices are shown on the home page) that tends towards the South of France regions.  The wines arrived with a note advising the correct drinking temperature was 14°.  This smacks of Rhone rather than Languedoc to me, but I am going to try to ignore all the misleading signs apart from the country of origin.

I’ve never done a blind tasting and come out any better than looking a complete fool, but fools never learn to keep their gobs shut, so, with little trepidation, here is my take on the wines.

714 – the petrol and elastic bands smell from the glass is what I always get from Monastrell/Mourvèdre.  Could this be a barking mad Bandol?  If it wasn’t a French PR agency I would have said a Monastrell from Barcelona.

390 – tastes like a classic Bordeaux blend to me – let’s go for Cotes de Bordeaux.

079 – I wondered if this was primarily a tough but flowery Cabernet Franc so I Googled where this grape predominates and randomly chose Chinon as my guess.

I am clearly wrong or I would now be in possession of the prize holiday.  I can’t wait to find out how much egg I need to wipe off my face.