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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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Ron Kramer
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#1751 Post by Ron Kramer » June 2nd, 2016, 12:26 pm

Thomas Concilio wrote: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]
In 1972 having just moved to the Boston area I bought four bottles of Lynch Bages from David Raines of Gordon's Liquors. It was my first purchase here and never had met David before. I lived on a hill with a 30 foot driveway rising 40-45 degrees. I picked up the carton from my trunk and the bottom falls out causing three of the bottles to fall. One smashed at my feet and the other two rolled all the way down the driveway AND across the street coming to rest on my neighbors lawn. I called the David who apologized for the carton? and he said to stop by and he would replace the bottle. This was a first time transaction that bound me to this individual whom I spent thousands with over the ensuing years and a friend as well.

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#1752 Post by Ryan M » August 15th, 2016, 7:23 am

So, I've got one, kind of an inverse since it was a salesperson involved. About two weeks ago, I was shopping at one of the better grocery store wine shops, one where it is clear that the manager is making a good effort to stock some quality, interesting wines.

Just a few feet away from me, another customer asked the salesperson if they have or can get a particular wine that snapped a picture of. And the salesperson made a bit of an excited fuss about how the blend was so usual. So I asked "oh, what's the blend?" She says "Merlot, Carmenere, and Cab Sauv." Perplexed as to why she would consider that to be unusual, I asked "where's it from?" She responds "Chile!" I maintained a level expression at that point, not wanting to make a fool of the poor girl. She goes on to say "yeah, it's really strange, because usually Chilean wines are made from Monastrell and Garnacha."

Wow, so many levels of crossed wires in there! I decide to just let it slide, not wanting to come off as some snobby know it all who corrects sales staff.
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#1753 Post by Steven Brown » November 30th, 2016, 5:29 am

I’m not a retail pimp, but I thought I’d share a recent experience I had with the top pimp at a local wine shop.

I live in a relatively small, rural town where I don’t expect to find many wine enthusiasts, yet there’s a shop that has a surprisingly diverse selection of domestic and foreign wine. I’d never met the owner until my last visit, when one of the employees pointed him out. I introduced myself and complimented him on the selection of wine, but he seemed completely uninterested in talking or deepening a relationship with a customer. I even asked him about one of the wines in the shop, and all he could muster was, “It’s nice."

This experience is in stark contrast to the manager of a store I occasionally visit in another state. He’s incredibly friendly, greets everyone who comes into the store as if they’re best friends, and is eager to learn more about them. And he remembers what he recommended to you a month, two months, even six months ago.

I guess I share this only to emphasize how important personality and friendliness is to customers…at least to this customer. When a person is in your shop, it’s an opportunity to win them over. Take advantage of the moment.

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#1754 Post by PeterJ » November 30th, 2016, 9:26 am

Anyone else think it's interesting that nobody's had anything to post here for the past three and a half months?
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#1755 Post by Brian S t o t t e r » December 11th, 2016, 12:41 pm

Ron Kramer wrote:
Thomas Concilio wrote: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]
In 1972 having just moved to the Boston area I bought four bottles of Lynch Bages from David Raines of Gordon's Liquors. It was my first purchase here and never had met David before. I lived on a hill with a 30 foot driveway rising 40-45 degrees. I picked up the carton from my trunk and the bottom falls out causing three of the bottles to fall. One smashed at my feet and the other two rolled all the way down the driveway AND across the street coming to rest on my neighbors lawn. I called the David who apologized for the carton? and he said to stop by and he would replace the bottle. This was a first time transaction that bound me to this individual whom I spent thousands with over the ensuing years and a friend as well.
Is David still around (40+ years later)?
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#1756 Post by Peter Tryba » December 11th, 2016, 4:14 pm

David left retail to start an import/supplier company. Still working!
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#1757 Post by jcoley3 » January 2nd, 2017, 4:09 pm

I never want to have the Extra Dry conversation again. Ever.
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"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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#1758 Post by Ryan M » January 15th, 2017, 1:06 pm

jcoley3 wrote:I never want to have the Extra Dry conversation again. Ever.
What's the Extra Dry conversation? Explaining that it's actually less dry than Brut?
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#1759 Post by PeterJ » January 15th, 2017, 6:59 pm

Ryan M wrote:
jcoley3 wrote:I never want to have the Extra Dry conversation again. Ever.
What's the Extra Dry conversation? Explaining that it's actually less dry than Brut?
I'm sure. When I explain that the usual first response is "Huh?".
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#1760 Post by jcoley3 » January 15th, 2017, 8:18 pm

PeterJ wrote:
Ryan M wrote:
What's the Extra Dry conversation? Explaining that it's actually less dry than Brut?
I'm sure. When I explain that the usual first response is "Huh?".
Yup. It's totally not the customer's fault. I even have a decent quick spiel down pat, it's just there's only so many times I feel like busting it out for the once-a-year folks on NYE! champagne.gif
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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#1761 Post by Ryan M » January 16th, 2017, 8:20 pm

jcoley3 wrote: Yup. It's totally not the customer's fault. I even have a decent quick spiel down pat, it's just there's only so many times I feel like busting it out for the once-a-year folks on NYE! champagne.gif
Maybe when I finally come down to visit you (sorry that I haven't yet), I'll just walk in un-introduced and start by asking you to explain to me what a "bruht" champagne is.
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#1762 Post by Jay Miller » January 17th, 2017, 5:35 am

Ryan M wrote:
jcoley3 wrote: Yup. It's totally not the customer's fault. I even have a decent quick spiel down pat, it's just there's only so many times I feel like busting it out for the once-a-year folks on NYE! champagne.gif
Maybe when I finally come down to visit you (sorry that I haven't yet), I'll just walk in un-introduced and start by asking you to explain to me what a "bruht" champagne is.
Dude, it's pronounced "bro"
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#1763 Post by jcoley3 » January 27th, 2017, 10:54 am

Ryan M wrote:
jcoley3 wrote: Yup. It's totally not the customer's fault. I even have a decent quick spiel down pat, it's just there's only so many times I feel like busting it out for the once-a-year folks on NYE! champagne.gif
Maybe when I finally come down to visit you (sorry that I haven't yet), I'll just walk in un-introduced and start by asking you to explain to me what a "bruht" champagne is.
champagne.gif

I'm amazed by how many wine pros I've heard with the 'bruht' thing.

Of course, make anyone say 'Gigondas' and all bets are off!
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"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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#1764 Post by Marc_Hanes » January 28th, 2017, 5:53 pm

I find this website useful in exploring foreign language pronunciations...

https://forvo.com/word/brut/#fr
ITB: Manhattan Wine Company

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#1765 Post by Matthew Brown » February 21st, 2017, 7:31 am

Asked 'Have an event for 50 people, what's a good sparkling wine?'
First told to keep under $20, try to explain differences of the Cava and Prosecco we have a case of in stock.
Yells at me for too much info, just wants to know what's good.
Points to a $30 wine. 'Is this better?'
I say yes but it isn't in the price range he first mentioned.
Yells at me for making it too difficult and threatens to never shop our store again.
I shut up and let him spend $300, and start to question my career choices.
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#1766 Post by Jorge Henriquez » February 21st, 2017, 7:47 am

Matthew Brown wrote:Asked 'Have an event for 50 people, what's a good sparkling wine?'
First told to keep under $20, try to explain differences of the Cava and Prosecco we have a case of in stock.
Yells at me for too much info, just wants to know what's good.
Points to a $30 wine. 'Is this better?'
I say yes but it isn't in the price range he first mentioned.
Yells at me for making it too difficult and threatens to never shop our store again.
I shut up and let him spend $300, and start to question my career choices.
Corey is a mean mofo.
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#1767 Post by Corey N. » February 21st, 2017, 7:52 am

Jorge Henriquez wrote:
Matthew Brown wrote:Asked 'Have an event for 50 people, what's a good sparkling wine?'
First told to keep under $20, try to explain differences of the Cava and Prosecco we have a case of in stock.
Yells at me for too much info, just wants to know what's good.
Points to a $30 wine. 'Is this better?'
I say yes but it isn't in the price range he first mentioned.
Yells at me for making it too difficult and threatens to never shop our store again.
I shut up and let him spend $300, and start to question my career choices.
Corey is a mean mofo.
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#1768 Post by andy velebil » February 21st, 2017, 11:18 am

Matthew Brown wrote:Asked 'Have an event for 50 people, what's a good sparkling wine?'
First told to keep under $20, try to explain differences of the Cava and Prosecco we have a case of in stock.
Yells at me for too much info, just wants to know what's good.
Points to a $30 wine. 'Is this better?'
I say yes but it isn't in the price range he first mentioned.
Yells at me for making it too difficult and threatens to never shop our store again.
I shut up and let him spend $300, and start to question my career choices.
Just WOW!
I'm a Port drinking fool!
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#1769 Post by Barry Paul Price » February 21st, 2017, 12:07 pm

I really did enjoy the wines I got from you Matt. But you post too much and I am never coming back to your store.
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#1770 Post by Matthew Brown » February 21st, 2017, 12:18 pm

Barry Paul Price wrote:I really did enjoy the wines I got from you Matt. But you post too much and I am never coming back to your store.
pileon pileon pileon pileon
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#1771 Post by Frank Drew » February 26th, 2017, 8:17 am

I don't think I could ever do retail; I work in health care, which is no bed of roses, but at least we get to stick needles and other even more invasive objects into our customers!

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#1772 Post by Richard Leland » February 26th, 2017, 12:45 pm

Frank Drew wrote:I don't think I could ever do retail; I work in health care, which is no bed of roses, but at least we get to stick needles and other even more invasive objects into our customers!
Jealous.
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#1773 Post by Bruce Leiser_owitz » February 27th, 2017, 11:46 am

Frank Drew wrote:I don't think I could ever do retail; I work in health care, which is no bed of roses, but at least we get to stick needles and other even more invasive objects into our customers!
Yes, but the malpractice liability for selling someone a corked bottle of wine is somewhat less than improperly sticking a needle into your customer/patient.

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#1774 Post by R yan C omaz zetto » July 12th, 2017, 4:23 pm

This is a great thread and I appreciate the entertainment it provides... but surely something funny has happened in the wine retail world since February! Or have all your customers finally become perfect?

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#1775 Post by Frank Drew » July 13th, 2017, 6:06 am

Overshadowed by political events?

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#1776 Post by Terence T-Bone Livingston » July 13th, 2017, 6:08 am

R yan C omaz zetto wrote:This is a great thread and I appreciate the entertainment it provides... but surely something funny has happened in the wine retail world since February! Or have all your customers finally become perfect?
We sell wine at retail prices that folks can take to their table and pay a $10 corkage fee. We also select about 10 different wines that are corkage free, usually wines that we have a lot of or want to move. People still don't understand why we charge a corkage fee on top of retail. Here's the typical back and forth:

Me: "Can I help you find something for your dinner tonight?"
Cust: "I see this corkage free sign here. Does it include everything on this row?" (20 wines on that row)
Me: "No, it's just the single wine that the sign is under, with the arrow pointing above to it. These are also listed on the front page of our wine list."
Cust: "Oh...well that's misleading."
Me: "Hmmm.....is there something in particular you're looking for?"
Cust: "No. (walks down to next country category) Oh look, this one is corkage free too (picking up a $40 young bordeaux)."
Me: "Yes, but if you want a really nice bordeaux drinking killer right now, I suggest this one at $30. Trust me, it's ready to go right now, and you'd pay the same price."
Cust: "Yea, but it's not corkage free (walks away looking for more corkage free signs)."
Me: "Ok, well let me know if there is anything else I can help you out with."
Cust: "Ok, I'll take this one. I love Belle Glos. You just can''t go wrong!" ($41.99 and not corkage free)
Me: "....great choice."
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#1777 Post by Jorge Henriquez » July 13th, 2017, 6:19 am

Jesus Christ man, are you daft?!?!

The more expensive the wine, the better it is. Duh!
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#1778 Post by Jay Miller » July 14th, 2017, 5:40 am

Terence T-Bone Livingston wrote:
Cust: "No. (walks down to next country category) Oh look, this one is corkage free too (picking up a $40 young bordeaux)."
Me: "Yes, but if you want a really nice bordeaux drinking killer right now, I suggest this one at $30. Trust me, it's ready to go right now, and you'd pay the same price."
Cust: "Yea, but it's not corkage free (walks away looking for more corkage free signs)."
It took me years to train some of my friends that it's better to bring a $50 bottle of wine and pay $25 corkage than to pay $75 (or even $100) for a bottle on the list that's been marked up from $25.
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#1779 Post by Barry Paul Price » July 14th, 2017, 2:15 pm

Jay Miller wrote:
Terence T-Bone Livingston wrote:
Cust: "No. (walks down to next country category) Oh look, this one is corkage free too (picking up a $40 young bordeaux)."
Me: "Yes, but if you want a really nice bordeaux drinking killer right now, I suggest this one at $30. Trust me, it's ready to go right now, and you'd pay the same price."
Cust: "Yea, but it's not corkage free (walks away looking for more corkage free signs)."
It took me years to train some of my friends that it's better to bring a $50 bottle of wine and pay $25 corkage than to pay $75 (or even $100) for a bottle on the list that's been marked up from $25.
The most powerful words in marketing are FREE and NEW. Use them together and all rational thought goes out the window.
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#1780 Post by Barry Paul Price » July 14th, 2017, 2:32 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.
I'm not ITB, and probably a good thing too, because I'd respond... "We don't have any."

Reminds me of the ending of this.

[youtube]cWDdd5KKhts[/youtube]
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#1781 Post by Ken V » July 16th, 2017, 7:10 am

Terence T-Bone Livingston wrote:
R yan C omaz zetto wrote:This is a great thread and I appreciate the entertainment it provides... but surely something funny has happened in the wine retail world since February! Or have all your customers finally become perfect?
We sell wine at retail prices that folks can take to their table and pay a $10 corkage fee. We also select about 10 different wines that are corkage free, usually wines that we have a lot of or want to move. People still don't understand why we charge a corkage fee on top of retail. Here's the typical back and forth:

Me: "Can I help you find something for your dinner tonight?"
Cust: "I see this corkage free sign here. Does it include everything on this row?" (20 wines on that row)
Me: "No, it's just the single wine that the sign is under, with the arrow pointing above to it. These are also listed on the front page of our wine list."
Cust: "Oh...well that's misleading."
Me: "Hmmm.....is there something in particular you're looking for?"
Cust: "No. (walks down to next country category) Oh look, this one is corkage free too (picking up a $40 young bordeaux)."
Me: "Yes, but if you want a really nice bordeaux drinking killer right now, I suggest this one at $30. Trust me, it's ready to go right now, and you'd pay the same price."
Cust: "Yea, but it's not corkage free (walks away looking for more corkage free signs)."
Me: "Ok, well let me know if there is anything else I can help you out with."
Cust: "Ok, I'll take this one. I love Belle Glos. You just can''t go wrong!" ($41.99 and not corkage free)
Me: "....great choice."
How do you restrain yourself? I'm surprised you don't grab a 2x4, wack them on the side of the head, and say, "OK, let's try again . . ."
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#1782 Post by Chris Blum » July 16th, 2017, 7:58 am

I'm getting wiser in my old age. This week, in my little neighborhood wine shop; I refrained from suggesting to the lady who, loudly and repeatedly talked about how she avoids wines "with sulfites", that maybe she was not actually "allergic to sulfites". She selected an organic, cage free, grass fed wine. I paid for my stuff and left.
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#1783 Post by justinmcinerny » July 19th, 2017, 4:13 pm

I probably shouldn't be posting this because it perhaps shows that I don't train people properly but what the heck. A part-time employee of ours who is a beer and wine novice said he ran into some Buddhist monks at his other retail job. He asked the monks about the great beer that they make. He said he was quickly told that Buddhist monks aren't in the beer making business. I do not think he is making this up. It never occurred to me to explain to him in training that the beer made by monks are Catholic monks, mostly from Belgium. Maybe I should give the guy a break because I am an Irish Catholic beer enthusiast and he is a Jewish newbie. Serious question - do the non Catholic/Christians out there realize that Abbey beer is made by Catholic monks (or at least Christians) or am I assuming too much?
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#1784 Post by Jay Miller » July 21st, 2017, 1:55 pm

justinmcinerny wrote:I probably shouldn't be posting this because it perhaps shows that I don't train people properly but what the heck. A part-time employee of ours who is a beer and wine novice said he ran into some Buddhist monks at his other retail job. He asked the monks about the great beer that they make. He said he was quickly told that Buddhist monks aren't in the beer making business. I do not think he is making this up. It never occurred to me to explain to him in training that the beer made by monks are Catholic monks, mostly from Belgium. Maybe I should give the guy a break because I am an Irish Catholic beer enthusiast and he is a Jewish newbie. Serious question - do the non Catholic/Christians out there realize that Abbey beer is made by Catholic monks (or at least Christians) or am I assuming too much?
I'm Jewish and realize it, but on the other hand I'm not a wine novice and I studied Buddhism. And have a very, very small but probably sufficient for this purpose amount of knowledge of Catholic monastic traditions.
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#1785 Post by cjsavino » July 23rd, 2017, 7:35 am

NWR, but was in our local grocery store looking for canning lids and the rubber gasket seals for the closure type lids. Stopped to ask the apparent teenager stocking the shelves and explained what I needed. Had the full deer in the head lights look at me and explained that these are used for making and storing your own food. The dim light goes on and I am told that I can make my own food at the salad/ hot bar, face palm.
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#1786 Post by Brent C l a y t o n » July 23rd, 2017, 6:11 pm

That. Is. Awesome. flirtysmile [snort.gif] [drinkers.gif] [berserker.gif]
justinmcinerny wrote:I probably shouldn't be posting this because it perhaps shows that I don't train people properly but what the heck. A part-time employee of ours who is a beer and wine novice said he ran into some Buddhist monks at his other retail job. He asked the monks about the great beer that they make. He said he was quickly told that Buddhist monks aren't in the beer making business. I do not think he is making this up. It never occurred to me to explain to him in training that the beer made by monks are Catholic monks, mostly from Belgium. Maybe I should give the guy a break because I am an Irish Catholic beer enthusiast and he is a Jewish newbie. Serious question - do the non Catholic/Christians out there realize that Abbey beer is made by Catholic monks (or at least Christians) or am I assuming too much?
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#1787 Post by Barry Paul Price » July 23rd, 2017, 6:21 pm

it really disturbs me that so many posts have men doing 'flirtysmile' according to my browser
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#1788 Post by John Osburn » July 24th, 2017, 10:51 am

cjsavino wrote:NWR, but was in our local grocery store looking for canning lids and the rubber gasket seals for the closure type lids. Stopped to ask the apparent teenager stocking the shelves and explained what I needed. Had the full deer in the head lights look at me and explained that these are used for making and storing your own food. The dim light goes on and I am told that I can make my own food at the salad/ hot bar, face palm.
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#1789 Post by Ken V » August 3rd, 2017, 4:37 am

Barry Paul Price wrote:it really disturbs me that so many posts have men doing 'flirtysmile' according to my browser
I guess you're just not comfortable enough in your masculinity. flirtysmile
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#1790 Post by Bill S. » September 5th, 2017, 6:49 pm

Got one from a few years ago. Customer comes up to me and another wine associate and asked "Where's your Pine Not Know Her?"

Took both of us 2 minutes to understand they were looking for Pinot Noir.
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#1791 Post by Matthew Brown » October 27th, 2017, 6:04 am

Had a woman yesterday wanting me to recommend 'European wines' because she 'heard 2017 was a bad year and they were all going to be expensive soon.'
What wines from Europe do you like?
No idea.
Well, what type of wine do you usually drink?
Caymus Cab.

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#1792 Post by S. Stevenson » November 19th, 2017, 9:59 am

Todd F r e n c h wrote:
Michael Bowden wrote:A former football player shilling wine here in the ATL......actually one of the best stores in town

http://thewinestoreinc.com/new_site/index.php" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
It amazes me how many former pro football players require jobs when they are no longer playing. With base salaries at 20X the national average, and most making around half a million a year for 5-10 years, you'd think they would be able to handle money for a while and be retired with a decent amount stashed away...
Todd, Todd, Todd. After taxes, agent fees, taking care of family, friends, and no the average life of an NFL players is 3 years(not 5 to 10), there ain't a lot left. Trust me.
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#1793 Post by Bruce Leiser_owitz » December 8th, 2017, 7:44 pm

Overheard in a wine store today:

"No, we're not buying that! Just stick to the shopping list!"

Bruce
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#1794 Post by Matthew Brown » December 25th, 2017, 6:21 am

Advice please:
What do you do when a customer INSISTS they bought a wine from you that, not only has never beer in your store, but never even EXISTED?

Alvear 1927 Solera is real, 1924 is not.

I found 1 link when googling, and it was to several different pictures of 2000 era single vintage ones. But no, he's angry at us for not having a 1924 Alvear Solera.
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#1795 Post by Corey N. » December 25th, 2017, 7:21 am

Matthew Brown wrote:Advice please:
What do you do when a customer INSISTS they bought a wine from you that, not only has never beer in your store, but never even EXISTED?

Alvear 1927 Solera is real, 1924 is not.

I found 1 link when googling, and it was to several different pictures of 2000 era single vintage ones. But no, he's angry at us for not having a 1924 Alvear Solera.
Keith can be a real *sshole when he shops drunk.
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#1796 Post by Matthew Brown » December 25th, 2017, 8:36 am

Did you really need the modifier?
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#1797 Post by andy velebil » December 28th, 2017, 10:17 am

Matthew Brown wrote:Advice please:
What do you do when a customer INSISTS they bought a wine from you that, not only has never beer in your store, but never even EXISTED?

Alvear 1927 Solera is real, 1924 is not.

I found 1 link when googling, and it was to several different pictures of 2000 era single vintage ones. But no, he's angry at us for not having a 1924 Alvear Solera.
No clue how you deal with that one, but it is pretty funny.

Come on folks, we all know there was some funny holiday stories out there. Lets hear them!
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#1798 Post by Thomas Keim » January 11th, 2018, 2:11 pm

I'm rebuilding a couple wine stores for a client who owns five stores, and they sell a ton of liquor and lottery tickets.

Twice now I have been at one of the stores, and this little demon of a women comes in, buys a 6pk of Busch Light beer, a half pint of Blackberry brandy, arguing until the cows come home about how the prices are pennies higher than a competitor, then proceeds to purchase $30+ dollars worth of lottery tickets.

I really want to follow her out the door and ask her WTF?
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#1799 Post by Jorge Henriquez » January 11th, 2018, 2:28 pm

All it takes is a dollar (or thirty) and a dream.

Why you want to crsuh her dreams?
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#1800 Post by sdfruman » January 13th, 2018, 8:08 am

I love these stories, and have been following them for years. I can't believe that the past holiday season didn't have more funny tales. Of course, it also convinces me that I'm not PC enough to work in retail.
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