Described only as someone who “made millions in the tech industry,” a mysterious benefactor who tweets as “Secret Somm” is showing up at Bay Area restaurants and surprising lucky diners with free bottles of wine. Local media report she’s been at it since January, working at a rate of about ten restaurants a week; apparently she drops hints about that evening’s whereabouts, arrives by chauffeured car, then starts doling out vino.
Rumor is she plans to end the giveaway after Valentine’s, although she said that would happen at the end of January. So far, her total has surpassed 75 bottles worth more than $4,000. Restaurants say she won’t let them comp bottles, and diners have tried to repay in kind with bottles of their own, but she insists they just thank her on Twitter:
Whoever she is, she’s a big local wine booster. She tells ABC the idea was partly to drum up business for the Tri-Valley wine region, so being the secret Santa of Chardonnay was “something that married my love of this wine country” with a way to “make people smile.”