Is Denner mistreating customers ?

When i started my refound wine journey of the first lists i joined was Denner.

Now the first vintage i bought was the 2008. Well in 2012 i got my US citizenship and as you expect planned a dinner. I contacted Denner and asked if they had any bottles of 2005-2008 in library stock that i could possibly purchase. I was told they had zero stock of any old wines as they are sold to keep cash flow healthy. Fine no problem

Forward to today, Denner are now doing special tastings of these older wines, not only tasting but you can buy bottles at the tasting. Of course you cant buy without being at the tasting. So us remote customers are ignored

Denner customer service has always been fantastic but i cant help thinking that denying access to these wines when i asked for special occasion and also today denying mail order access is not really in the spirit of looking after your mail list.

Am i just bitching or does anyone agree

As Spock once said “The good of the many outweighs the good of the few… or the one.” Guess you’re that one this time.

Seriously, I’d be a little perturbed too, but that’s business for you. Maybe they’re selling the bottles at the tasting for more profit. Often, wineries charge more for library releases than current vintages. Maybe they had the tasting planned all along, and had to keep a certain number of those bottles for their customers who attended. Try calling them again now that the tasting is over and see if they have any left.

Besides, that’s not exactly mistreating you - just not giving you exactly what you want. The customer isn’t always right. Also, the person who answered your request might have just relayed what information was current to them. If they looked up those vintages on the computer, those bottles dedicated to the tasting might not have shown on the inventory.

I think of access to library wines as a privilege not a right as a customer. No matter how long you’ve been buying or how well you know the winery/owners. That being said…there’s ups and downs to being close to a winery. There is usually more access to the library when you’re local from places I’ve been to.

The issue seems to be their verbage. Instead of saying we dont have any available, they should have said we have none available for sale at this time. Words have meaning and word choice matters.
Still, they are a private business and can do whatever they want with their product.
I dont think they mistreated you i think they just should have communicated better. If this is enough for you to warrant you taking your business elsewhere there is plenty of other good producers similar to Denner.

maybe the winery held back specific quantities of their older vintages specifically to pour at Special Tastings?

maybe the Special Tastings are designed to drive traffic to the winery?

i could understand that.

We have the same situation with Rockford SVS wines. Even if you are a Stonewaller you can’t buy them via mail order, unlike the Basket Press which you can, these can only be purchased at cellar door. I kind of like the idea that you have to make the trip, go to the tasting room to get them. Maybe it is to try and limit the mailing list flickers who buy old, good provenance wines to flick to the secondary market at a profit all from the comfort of their own home.

SVS = (Single Vineyard Series)

Some wineries actively seek out to repurchase back vintages… they could not afford to keep them at the start but can now afford the carrying costs.

Yea, those evil mother flickers! [snort.gif]

They may have (re)acquired those later, or partnered up with someone else who had the wines to put together those events, just like many restaurants host tasting dinners, that are backstopped by a local collector with a deep cellar.

But even if that is not the case, it’s fairly presumptuous to think that one is entitled to first dibs on their older wines, and then a bit jackassy to make a post suggesting the winery are mistreating people.

So you think im being a jackass because after years on their list wines are being made only available to people who can goto the winery for a special tasting ?

So from your prospective there is no point being a regular buyer

Well, I guess Denner has demonstrated to you whether or not there is a point to being a regular buyer with them.

There are some businesses that value their customers and some that don’t. It’s up to each individual to decide how much poop they’re willing to deal with to continue being a customer.

On the spectrum though of douchebagging, I don’t particularly think they’ve hit Robin Thicke level.


In my father’s generation, “mistreatment” referred to abuse of POW’s in camps. I guess times have changed…


If you’d like to be able to attend all winery events, I’d suggest moving to wine country. It’s not surprising that wineries will focus on their local markets first and then their major out-of-town markets second. If it’s such a tragedy to miss these events, buy a plane ticket.

Before posting your thoughts here, did you reach out to Denner for their comment about the situation? You will almost always be better served resolving these types of situations privately than publicly.


Wow, didn’t even take an entire page to devolve into standard berzerking mode. If I had known somebody was going to call our OP a jackass, I would have beat them to the punch. Guess it was silly of me to use some tact, eh? Alan, you’ll have to forgive me - the following is how I should have replied according to WB code:

What are you, a whiny overprivileged adolescent? Get over yourself and grow up! Nobody owes you the rights to library releases you putz!


A few years after Aubert opened for business, I remember being incensed that their allocation model granted larger allocations to first time buyers than to their original customers, of which I was one. I had a bit of a whinge on eBob (this was pre-Wb) and a long conversation with Teresa Aubert about the inequities of their system. Of course, my next Chardonnay allocations were almost 40 bottles each. Which I bought. Several years thereafter, my wife decided that she no longer liked the wines (I had reached the same conclusion some time and several giant purchases earlier), so I sold the remaining 100++ bottles in my cellar. Maybe at break even, maybe/probably not.

Lesson learned, I never whinged about a winery offering (or non-offering) since. Sometimes, we need to get over ourselves and our sense of entitlement.

You can’t walk into someone’s house and say you that you like it and want to buy it. It has to be for sale. If the winery says it didn’t have wine for sale at that time, that’s all there is to it.

this thread is case and point for why WB needs the ability to ‘like’ a post.


Well put.