Secret Wine: I’ve just voted, but have I got it right?

I’ve just cast my vote in the Secret Wine competition. It’s an innovative idea from French PR agency Clair de Lune. They sent three mystery wines to the first 85 bloggers to respond, and the idea is for these bloggers to taste the wines and then vote on their identity, with the winner receiving a wine tourism package for two, worth 1000 Euros.

The wines’ identities were masked: they came in identical bottles sealed with bright green synthetic corks. Deciding which appellation they were from proved to be quite tricky. As far as I could tell, all three were from the South of France, but deciding on which southern French appellation was no more than educated guesswork. Winemaking style often overwhelms sense of place here, and most reds from this broad area tend t0 be blends.

I’ll fess up to my guesses once the voting is complete. It’s all good fun, and an excellent idea.

11 comments to Secret Wine: I’ve just voted, but have I got it right?

  • Alex

    A fun idea indeed!

  • Tim

    I haven’t tried mine yet, but yes I figured south of France as well. I couldn’t picture any of the more established appellations doing this. I was also wondering if the accompanying note to serve them at 14C was telling at all, but perhaps not….

  • keith Prothero

    two of these appeared at a WIMPS lunch last week.
    Frankly,I thought one of them was a very young Swartland syrah and we had no idea where the wines or idea originated from.
    Certainly could well have been Lanky/Docky—— although the bottle I tasted seemed to have more syrah than anything else.

  • Steve

    Yes, a fun idea!

    Whoever wins will definitely have some luck on their side. I agree about wine making styles trumping appellations. One of them was definitely Southern Rhone but it’s damn tough to pinpoint! Gigondas? Vacqueyras? CdP? Vinsobres?

  • I totally agree Jamie – I submitted my answers this morning and it was an attempt at educated guesswork – I’ll be interested to see how close/far away I am!
    Despite the French emphasis on terroir, in my experience wines from the same appellation can be pretty variable in style & quality. And sometimes wines from ‘lesser’ appellations may be more impressive than more prestigious ones – so it’s an interesting experiment.

  • Alex Lake

    Curious how Tim seems to have an idea without even having tried them – respect!

  • I too thought mostly Rhône. And now that I know I didn’t get them right, I’m ridiculously impatient to find out what they are.

  • We Left Bank folk here in Sablet think that they all come from the other side of the Rhone.

    But,hey, they could be taking us for a big ride. I wonder if they’ve picked up an Australian client.

  • Jan

    Very good point Lincoln! I’m super excited to hear results now even though I didn’t get to taste them :)

  • I’m sure this has been “all good fun”. Any blind-tasting can be fun.

    But don’t you feel a little manipulated here Jamie? After all, no matter how much ‘fun’ this might be, let’s not forget that Clair de Lune is a PR agency, and I suspect in this case their remit is to raise the profile of a certain producer or appellation. And they have dozens of bloggers (including you) signed up for this it seems, a sort of viral marketing fed by wine, the only charge to them a few bottles (or 85 x 3 bottles, I suppose) for which they get a lot of free online publicity and chat.

    Is this really the role of an independent wine writer/critic of national standing, one who writes a national newspaper column and for the WoFW, such as yourself?

  • Chris is a prick

    Chris Kissack – you are a prick, you clearly have it in for Jamie.

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