The other day a good friend came over for a bit of chit-chat catch up (it'd been awhile since we'd hung out without other people). She's a great guest and showed up on my doorstep with a bottle of Oreana Winery's "?" wine. She chose the wine for its striking label and appealing price (under $10). Apparently it's called ? due to a tank snafu that blended two wines. The back of the bottle states:
Mistake or fate, I pondered this as I removed the hose from the stainless steel tank. The wrong tank: lot 1203 and lot 419 were now one. Once destined to be bottled individually, now and forever fused. A phone call to a mentor elicited a quick response, "Varietal wine? What for? Blend it man and blend it well." So be it, I decided, and reached for a glass to see what blue ruin had been created by this mishap.
Not being ones to turn down adventure, we gave it a try. Since it was a "mistake" and under $10, I figured there was no way it would be tasty, but I was wrong. The flavor ended up being well-balanced and smooth, with a bit of a peppery undertone. It wasn't an amazing wine, but it was perfect for the occasion. I would definitely try it again and besides, the bottle is quite a conversation starter. It would pair nicely with rare meats and as the winery suggests, "your own favorite culinary error."
Note: My friend found this 2005 blend at Trader Joe's, however you can purchase the 2004 blend (this accident has been happily reproduced for several years) online.