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A forum for and about wine retailing. Consumer questions, retailer rants, etc. All are welcome to post
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Peter Tryba
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#1701 Post by Peter Tryba » December 31st, 2015, 2:07 pm

Me when someone asks me if we sell sparkling wine while I'm standing in the sparkling wine aisle
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#1702 Post by Chris Blum » December 31st, 2015, 2:39 pm

I kept getting mistaken for a Costco wine employee today. Sadly, Costco did not have what my clients were searching for. But thankfully, I know where in town one can purchase Cook's "champagne" and Asti Spumante.
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#1703 Post by jcoley3 » December 31st, 2015, 7:44 pm

At the end of the night tonight, a couple decided to pay cash for a bottle of Dom Perignon. That cash included over $40 worth of quarters...
Jim Coley ITB

"So I say, like Ortega y Gasset, that when a lot of people agree on something, it's either a stupid idea or a beautiful woman." - Alvaro Mutis

"You could spend a lot more money, and not get a better Burgundy...” - Carlo Rossi

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Al Osterheld
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#1704 Post by Al Osterheld » January 1st, 2016, 9:18 am

Well, at least they put the quarters to good use.

-Al

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Bruce Leiser_owitz
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#1705 Post by Bruce Leiser_owitz » January 2nd, 2016, 5:49 am

jcoley3 wrote:At the end of the night tonight, a couple decided to pay cash for a bottle of Dom Perignon. That cash included over $40 worth of quarters...
I hope they didn't use up all their laundry quarters on Dom.

Bruce
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Peter Tryba
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#1706 Post by Peter Tryba » January 2nd, 2016, 10:42 am

Customer: "Hi, I'd like to return this television. It wasn't good, so I threw it in the trash. I don't have a receipt, but here's the box."

That's 2016 so far.
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PeterJ
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#1707 Post by PeterJ » January 2nd, 2016, 10:45 am

Way too many customers: "Is this wine any good"?

Me (in my mind): "No. We just like to sell crap wine to dumb people".
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#1708 Post by Doug Schulman » January 2nd, 2016, 3:56 pm

Peter Tryba wrote:Me when someone asks me if we sell sparkling wine while I'm standing in the sparkling wine aisle
I'm still surprised at how often someone asks me if we sell white wine or red wine when we're standing in a wine section surrounded by thousands of bottles.
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#1709 Post by jcoley3 » January 5th, 2016, 12:27 pm

Doug Schulman wrote:
Peter Tryba wrote:Me when someone asks me if we sell sparkling wine while I'm standing in the sparkling wine aisle
I'm still surprised at how often someone asks me if we sell white wine or red wine when we're standing in a wine section surrounded by thousands of bottles.
Jeez, I even get "Where's your wine at?" just sitting at my counter in the wine department. You have to walk past thousands of bottles of wine to ask me that.
Jim Coley ITB

"So I say, like Ortega y Gasset, that when a lot of people agree on something, it's either a stupid idea or a beautiful woman." - Alvaro Mutis

"You could spend a lot more money, and not get a better Burgundy...” - Carlo Rossi

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#1710 Post by Corey N. » January 5th, 2016, 12:43 pm

jcoley3 wrote:Jeez, I even get "Where's your wine at?" just sitting at my counter in the wine department. You have to walk past thousands of bottles of wine to ask me that.
Seems like you're missing an opportunity to educate your customers about the inappropriateness of ending a sentence with a preposition.
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Peter Hirsch
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#1711 Post by Peter Hirsch » January 5th, 2016, 1:26 pm

Corey N. wrote: Seems like you're missing an opportunity to educate your customers about the inappropriateness of ending a sentence with a preposition.
So, funny thing. This is no longer a rule.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preposition_stranding

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#1712 Post by David K o l i n » January 5th, 2016, 1:27 pm

Corey N. wrote:
jcoley3 wrote:Jeez, I even get "Where's your wine at?" just sitting at my counter in the wine department. You have to walk past thousands of bottles of wine to ask me that.
Seems like you're missing an opportunity to educate your customers about the inappropriateness of ending a sentence with a preposition.
"Where's your wine at, *sshole?"

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#1713 Post by C. Bowman » January 5th, 2016, 7:57 pm

Just got a call from a customer "are you still open, I need chardonnay and smokes?" Randy suggested several bottles before she made a decision over the phone. Then she said, "will you run it out to my car when I pull in I'm in my jammies, how much is it, I'll have cash, I'll be there shortly?"
Randy just delivered wine, smokes and change to her in her car.. .. She even tried to tip Randy the Carhop . lol!
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#1714 Post by Randy Bowman » January 5th, 2016, 8:05 pm

jcoley3 wrote:
Jeez, I even get "Where's your wine at?" just sitting at my counter in the wine department. You have to walk past thousands of bottles of wine to ask me that.
Napa Valley Wine & Cigar. It's one thing when tourists come in for cigars, see the wine cellar and say "Oh, you sell wine too," but when a customer who has been buying cigars for 6 years all of a sudden notices the wine cellar for the first time and exclaims, "You sell wine now too!" [head-bang.gif]
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#1715 Post by Ken V » January 6th, 2016, 7:01 pm

C. Bowman wrote:Just got a call from a customer "are you still open, I need chardonnay and smokes?" Randy suggested several bottles before she made a decision over the phone. Then she said, "will you run it out to my car when I pull in I'm in my jammies, how much is it, I'll have cash, I'll be there shortly?"
Randy just delivered wine, smokes and change to her in her car.. .. She even tried to tip Randy the Carhop . lol!
Was he wearing his shorts?

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#1716 Post by M. Ibis » January 13th, 2016, 6:35 am

First post ever. I'm the beverage head at a large retail chain that sells more than just wine/beer.

Had a little old lady (don't be deceived) come in to return a bottle of wine that she and her friends all decided they didn't like and she wanted to return it. "Do you have the bottle and the wine that you didn't drink?" I ask. "No, but here's the cork."

No amount of explaining that I couldn't take back the cork was satisfactory. "So I need to eat the $11 I spent?"

Everything in me wanted to say "No. You drank it." In the end, my supervisor gave her $10 off another product to keep her happy.

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#1717 Post by John Osburn » January 14th, 2016, 2:01 pm

Nice.

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Peter Hirsch
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#1718 Post by Peter Hirsch » January 15th, 2016, 3:32 am

M. Ibis wrote:First post ever. I'm the beverage head at a large retail chain that sells more than just wine/beer.

Had a little old lady (don't be deceived) come in to return a bottle of wine that she and her friends all decided they didn't like and she wanted to return it. "Do you have the bottle and the wine that you didn't drink?" I ask. "No, but here's the cork."

No amount of explaining that I couldn't take back the cork was satisfactory. "So I need to eat the $11 I spent?"

Everything in me wanted to say "No. You drank it." In the end, my supervisor gave her $10 off another product to keep her happy.
So, funny. My mom is 87 and I see this kind of stuff from her all the time. Basically, she no longer has even the littlest bit of shame when asking people in stores and restaurants for virtually anything and everything. She plays the 'old lady' card with abandon. There's a JPMChase branch across the street, my mom does not have an account there. Whenever she needs to fax something (I tried to explain scan and pdf, no luck!), she walks across the street and asks them to do it for her. They usually start with "ma'am, we're a bank, we're not a copy store!" but within 5 minutes they're faxing out her stuff. Restaurants, no different. I've seen her ask for tastes of 5+ different wines over the course of a meal, reject all, and wind up with a couple of nice glasses between the various rejections (free wine!). But my favorite. She doesn't like the fridge to be too cold (says it wastes money), so her milk never quite makes it to the expiration date. And of course she always takes it back to the grocery store down the block to complain that it went bad too early. And always gets a 'new' one for free. And then does it again the next week or so with the 1/2 empty 'free' container. And again. And again. The 'old lady' card, she'll play it at will.

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#1719 Post by M. Chacchia » January 22nd, 2016, 10:53 am

After reading through these posts on multiple occasions, I have to say there is some funny sh*t in this thread. Glad you guys have a sense of humor to deal with it all.
Signed, former retailer.
Cheers
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#1720 Post by PeterJ » January 22nd, 2016, 5:24 pm

I spent the first 15 years ofmy business career in apparel retail and most of the rest with companies that had at least a couple of retail outlets. Back about 15 years ago our best friends opened a season retail business. About two months in I got a phone call asking how in the world I ever stated sane after all that. So....... I then opened a retail wine shop and wine bar. At least then I had alcohol handy.
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#1721 Post by Michel Abood » January 24th, 2016, 2:02 am

PeterJ wrote:I spent the first 15 years ofmy business career in apparel retail and most of the rest with companies that had at least a couple of retail outlets. Back about 15 years ago our best friends opened a season retail business. About two months in I got a phone call asking how in the world I ever stated sane after all that. So....... I then opened a retail wine shop and wine bar. At least then I had alcohol handy.
As an importer, I only deal with the public when doing in-store tastings. I can't imagine doing so on a daily basis. Some of the questions/comments I get are really interesting. I realize not everyone knows or understands wine, but sometimes I have to go wow. BTW, this goes both ways, some people are so geeky about wine that they strip all the joy and fun out of it.
Guess what? I'm ITB-> Vinotas Selections

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#1722 Post by PeterJ » January 24th, 2016, 9:23 am

Just the other day a woman started arguing with me that it made no sense to pump gas into a bottle of wine because the gas HAD to contaminate it. This will be hard to accept for Coravin, WineEmotion, Enomatic; not to mention every winery in the world.
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#1723 Post by Ryan M » February 8th, 2016, 9:44 am

Nothing for a full two weeks. We demand entertainment ITB wenches! Surely the Super Bowl brought out some clueless folks.

Seriously though, this is one of my favorite threads on the entire internet, thanks guys!
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#1724 Post by Matthew Brown » February 8th, 2016, 10:11 am

Amazing what people will admit to:

A woman came in looking for a good basic Port, insisting she wouldn't really know the difference between the cheapest grocery store ones and a 'basic' NV from Dows or Warres. Her sense of smell was so bad, she claimed, the dog had been sprayed by a skunk and she couldn't tell and let it run around the house for several hours until a friend came over and 'instantly' could tell what was up.

Come to think of it, she did look a little bit like......

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#1725 Post by andyrose » February 25th, 2016, 8:22 am

Of course, those of you who work retail know how you occasionally have to decipher/translate what a person is asking for. Sometimes they'll pronounce English as French, Italian as Spanish, or sometimes seemingly just make it up.
Had a lady come in recently looking for the "Mein Kampf Rosé". It took me a few seconds to realize what she was actually asking for was Meinklang... Close, but Meinklang has less tortured souls in the finish.
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#1726 Post by Richard Leland » February 25th, 2016, 9:42 am

Just received an email from a guy who is anxious to get his hands on a hard-to-get Bourbon. I have to admit that it's a pretty creative approach:

Hello,

Long time customer, but recently moved to NY. I just read that E.H. Taylor was releasing a new "Seasoned Wood" bourbon next month (March). I know you guys generally have a bunch of bourbon from Buffalo Trace distillery and wanted to see if you guys were slated to get any of this new release. If so, I will gladly sign up for as many bottles as I can, even a case of 6 if possible. And I would happily pay in advance. I am planning for my wedding in June and would love nothing more than to have EH Taylor in attendance for all to have. My to be wife and I met drinking EH Taylor at a bar, so this would be an amazing surprise for her at our wedding.

Thanks in advance,

John


Unfortunately for John, his last name was in the email and a quick check in our database showed that he'd never bought anything in the store. Sorry John.
Richard

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#1727 Post by Michel Abood » February 25th, 2016, 3:42 pm

Richard Leland wrote:Just received an email from a guy who is anxious to get his hands on a hard-to-get Bourbon. I have to admit that it's a pretty creative approach:

Hello,

Long time customer, but recently moved to NY. I just read that E.H. Taylor was releasing a new "Seasoned Wood" bourbon next month (March). I know you guys generally have a bunch of bourbon from Buffalo Trace distillery and wanted to see if you guys were slated to get any of this new release. If so, I will gladly sign up for as many bottles as I can, even a case of 6 if possible. And I would happily pay in advance. I am planning for my wedding in June and would love nothing more than to have EH Taylor in attendance for all to have. My to be wife and I met drinking EH Taylor at a bar, so this would be an amazing surprise for her at our wedding.

Thanks in advance,

John


Unfortunately for John, his last name was in the email and a quick check in our database showed that he'd never bought anything in the store. Sorry John.
Well, in his defense, he didn't say he was a long time customer of yours.
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#1728 Post by Richard Leland » February 25th, 2016, 3:51 pm

Michel Abood wrote:Well, in his defense, he didn't say he was a long time customer of yours.
Good point!
Richard

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#1729 Post by Edward H. Earles » February 25th, 2016, 4:07 pm

Just out of curiosity, Richard, is it possible to ship a bottle of E. H. Taylor (etc) to another state? I live not far from where it's made, and it never appears on retailer's shelves here. I love the stuff, but can't get it.

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#1730 Post by Richard Leland » February 25th, 2016, 5:00 pm

Edward H. Earles wrote:Just out of curiosity, Richard, is it possible to ship a bottle of E. H. Taylor (etc) to another state?
Is it possible for a retailer to ship whiskey? Yes. Is it done all the time? Yes. Is it legal? Well .......

E.H. Taylor is marketed by Sazerac and while the whiskies are distributed nationally, they've become hard to get over the last 6 months or so.
Richard

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#1731 Post by Bruce Leiser_owitz » February 26th, 2016, 5:32 am

Richard Leland wrote:Just received an email from a guy who is anxious to get his hands on a hard-to-get Bourbon. I have to admit that it's a pretty creative approach:

Hello,

Long time customer, but recently moved to NY. I just read that E.H. Taylor was releasing a new "Seasoned Wood" bourbon next month (March). I know you guys generally have a bunch of bourbon from Buffalo Trace distillery and wanted to see if you guys were slated to get any of this new release. If so, I will gladly sign up for as many bottles as I can, even a case of 6 if possible. And I would happily pay in advance. I am planning for my wedding in June and would love nothing more than to have EH Taylor in attendance for all to have. My to be wife and I met drinking EH Taylor at a bar, so this would be an amazing surprise for her at our wedding.

Thanks in advance,

John


Unfortunately for John, his last name was in the email and a quick check in our database showed that he'd never bought anything in the store. Sorry John.
My first and last names have an "E" in them, and my middle initial begins with an "H." Thus, I've had a hankering for E.H. Taylor bourbons since I was a child, and it would be wonderful to serve their bourbons to my guests.........

Bruce
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#1732 Post by M. Ibis » March 21st, 2016, 6:58 pm

About once a month my general manager asks me for a new recommendation. Every. Single. Time. he hates my recommendations. So, what does he like? Apothic Red and La Crema chardonnay. So, trying to be diplomatic I say "oh, so you like oak, OK..." His reply? "I don't like oak at all!"

Seriously, I give up.

Another story: This weekend a new customer comes in and says he loves Australian Shiraz but wants to branch out. OK, so we have a good start and I'm leaning towards zins and some Washington State red blends (a fav of mine and I have many converts). Then he insists (insists!) on nothing jammy or fruit forward. Of course all he knows about zin is white zinfandel (seriously, will this never die) and kept asking over and over and over if I was sure it wasn't sweet.

I honestly believe that no matter how many women are in the wine industry the perception is that all we like is sweet wine and we can't possibly understand what "dry" means. (don't get me started on my love of rose wine and how many times I need to insist that it isn't a sugar bomb)

On the plus side, after recommending a Loire Valley Sauv Blanc to a customer I heard her say to her daughter "Get another bottle of that. The wine lady here always makes great recommendations." So hey, that's a nice boost to my self-esteem.

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#1733 Post by Michael Bowden » March 21st, 2016, 7:05 pm

M. Ibis wrote:About once a month my general manager asks me for a new recommendation. Every. Single. Time. he hates my recommendations. So, what does he like? Apothic Red and La Crema chardonnay. So, trying to be diplomatic I say "oh, so you like oak, OK..." His reply? "I don't like oak at all!"

Seriously, I give up.
How about a blind tasting? See what he really likes...behind the label.
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#1734 Post by M. Ibis » March 21st, 2016, 7:53 pm

Michael Bowden wrote:
M. Ibis wrote:About once a month my general manager asks me for a new recommendation. Every. Single. Time. he hates my recommendations. So, what does he like? Apothic Red and La Crema chardonnay. So, trying to be diplomatic I say "oh, so you like oak, OK..." His reply? "I don't like oak at all!"

Seriously, I give up.
How about a blind tasting? See what he really likes...behind the label.
I'd love to and that's a great idea! I've learned a lot about my own tastes through blind tastings. He definitely likes to drink wine, but he's a reverse-snob. He truly believes that nothing over $20 is worth it. While I respect a good deal, I can't fully agree. I assume I'm not alone on this site.

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#1735 Post by Veronica Castro » April 18th, 2016, 4:17 pm

Last week from a gentleman browsing through our Burgundy section:
"I've had a few of these Castanet Montrachets."

??? That's not even French.
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#1736 Post by Matthew Brown » April 18th, 2016, 6:26 pm

A pair of Canada geese have taken up temporary residence in a grassy area beside our store, and every morning for the last week they have taken big juicy dumps on our entry way mats. Either shoes or delivery hand trucks have left little green trails around the store.
I believe it's intentional.
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#1737 Post by andy velebil » April 18th, 2016, 8:22 pm

Funnies are back....keep em coming. I'm a simple person and these give me a good laugh.
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#1738 Post by Matthew Brown » April 19th, 2016, 6:46 am

Tangent to my last post: anyone have prep tips/wine pairing ideas for wild goose? Will cross post in Epicurean. TIA
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#1739 Post by John Osburn » April 19th, 2016, 2:37 pm

Perhaps the honkers are sent by the Canadian Wine Board to urge you to stock more Canadian wine?

But if you've had enough and hate Canadian wine, best tip on regions of wine for wild goose/duck was from a fine restaurant in Paris - the Sudwest France region, Bearn, Irouleguy, Fronton, etc. For recipes google the book Duck Duck Goose from Hank Shaw.

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#1740 Post by Edward H. Earles » April 19th, 2016, 2:40 pm

Matthew Brown wrote:Tangent to my last post: anyone have prep tips/wine pairing ideas for wild goose? Will cross post in Epicurean. TIA
Sagrantino or Aglianico (well-aged) are good. Bordeaux and Napa Cabs are good also.

I used to hunt waterfowl avidly and have harvested a good many geese. My favorite part of the bird is the heart. Take some goose hearts, marinate them in a mixture of Tamari, ginger, and black pepper; then skewer and grill over hot coals (serve just rare or medium-rare). This is some of the best meat I have eaten, on a par with filet mignon. [cheers.gif]

Brined and smoked snow goose breast tastes like Pastrami!

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#1741 Post by Thomas Bougetz » April 19th, 2016, 2:50 pm

Pouring at a public wine event, a person approaches our table and asks my wife, "Can I try your light Cabernet?" My wife looks stumped when I ask her what's the question, and without hesitation, I immediately pour her a Pinot Noir.

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#1742 Post by David_S » April 21st, 2016, 6:42 pm

Took me a few days but I read all this thread. Good stuff.
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#1743 Post by Ken V » May 6th, 2016, 5:38 am

From the New Yorker:
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Ken V @ s t o l @
The Fine Wine Geek
Click on the W W W button under my name to see my website.
"Don't be meek, embrace the geek." -Terry Theise
Twitter: @FineWineGeek

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D@v!d P@rt@!n
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#1744 Post by D@v!d P@rt@!n » May 8th, 2016, 11:31 am

Ken, it happens all the time. Customer says "I had a wine last night at restaurant x across the street. It was really good, do you have it?" I ask "What was the name?" Customer says "I didn't see the bottle so I don't know. Do you have it?" [wow.gif]
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Richard Leland
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#1745 Post by Richard Leland » May 9th, 2016, 1:40 pm

D@v!d P@rt@!n wrote:Customer says "I had a wine last night at restaurant x across the street. It was really good, do you have it?" I ask "What was the name?" Customer says "I didn't see the bottle so I don't know. Do you have it?"
We don't get a lot of that, thankfully, but what drives us nuts are the customers who don't remember the name of the wine but say "Well, the label was white and had some kind of illustration on it" and expect us to know what they're talking about.
Richard

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alan weinberg
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#1746 Post by alan weinberg » May 15th, 2016, 6:29 am

D@v!d P@rt@!n wrote:Ken, it happens all the time. Customer says "I had a wine last night at restaurant x across the street. It was really good, do you have it?" I ask "What was the name?" Customer says "I didn't see the bottle so I don't know. Do you have it?" [wow.gif]
friend who was seriously into cars did that to me once. Next time I saw him, I said, "I saw the most amazing car." When he asked excitedly what it was, I said, "it was red."

luc@sl@belle
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#1747 Post by luc@sl@belle » May 15th, 2016, 2:08 pm

Thanks for sharing!

Thomas Concilio
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#1748 Post by Thomas Concilio » May 19th, 2016, 11:24 am

So, Just when I think I've heard them all. And yes, there are a lot of very good examples in this thread, this comes along.

A customer comes in and explains how he broke a bottle of wine while loading it into his fridge. (Well that sucks!) Is there anything that I can do? (Huh?) (Like what?, do you want me to help you clean it up? Oh, you want financial compensation because you broke your bottle in your fridge at your home.)

The items in parenthesis are my thoughts during the discussion.

Really, where is the concept of personal responsibility. It really sucks that you broke your bottle, I've even done it, but... [soap.gif]
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#1749 Post by PeterH » May 19th, 2016, 11:31 am

Thomas,
A gesture that might win future customer loyalty is to offer a replacement at your cost. That's what we do in similar situations (different product).

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#1750 Post by Thomas Concilio » May 19th, 2016, 5:32 pm

PeterH wrote:Thomas,
A gesture that might win future customer loyalty is to offer a replacement at your cost. That's what we do in similar situations (different product).

P Hickner
That sound like a wonderful solution. Hadn't even thought of that. I was just so put back by the request that my mind went blank.
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