The Dialog Wines Blog

‘Secret’ Wines

 Published on: Saturday, August 7, 2010

I was recently given a sample by Greg Marellotto of Martellotto wines. It was a white wine and just had a beautiful artistic label on the front. The back label read “Secret, 2008 Columbia Valley” and a few sentences that read “be not judgement, sip and savor. Some things are better left unsaid. Embrace silence for if you do not come detached contemplation reveals a universal secret.” Very nice, very creative but I thought that it was strange for a new world wine not to put the varietals on the label.

I asked Greg what the wine was made of, which lead to the following exchange:

GM: “Read the label, its a secret.”

GW: “So you’re not going to tell me what the wine is made of?”

GM: “Definitely not.”

I was somewhat baffled by this approach. I mean, part of the reason why old world wine often lags behind in sales in North America is because the consumer has no idea what is in the bottle. For example, some of the best wines in the world come from Burgundy. I have friends who claim that they love Pinot Noir and yet, when I ask if they ever buy Burgundy, the answer is always a resounding “no.” I suspect its because many of my friends have no idea what is in the bottle.

In case I didn’t make it clear, Martellotto’s wine is actually called “Secret.” The idea is that you don’t analyze the wine, you buy it and enjoy it. For my part, not knowing anything about the wine made me want to analyze it even more. I drank it last night with chicken kabobs and a salad. I did enjoy the wine and I had fun trying to figure out what was in the bottle. My best guess is chardonnay and semillon blend. The wine had structure and acidity. Good on its own and good with my chicken kabobs. As for the whole concept of the “Secret” wine…well, I’m still not sure. What do you think?

– GW

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