Vins Rare wine shop

I received my orders from Vins Rare and 1 of the bottles was something I didnt ask for but was substituted by them because they were out of stock. I didn’t allow any substitution and they never even reached out to me if it was ok to switch it. They agreed to send me a return shipping label but since then they simply stopped any communications with me (never received the label). I reached out to them via emails and phone calls. I understand it is a busy month but sending 1 label doesnt take long or at the very least just take 10 seconds to reply and say they are overwhelmed and will get back to me. It has been 3 weeks now just waiting on a label. I will stop doing business with them. I do not appreciate the treatment. End of rant.

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These are the reasons I’ve chosen not to buy there as well. I’ve heard through more than a handful of people that things are not “done right” there. In today’s day & age things like this can’t be ignored. Having said that, If I were the manager of Vins Rare, I’d want all of these issues brought directly to me so I could ensure that they were followed through on. Maybe they need new leadership?

I’ve worked with them for years; the owner is on this forum btw.

Last I heard, Bryan runs this as basically (or maybe entirely) a one-person shop. I’ve never had any serious issues personally and can only recall one vintage substitution over the years (one I was notified about and decided to accept but was not particularly happy about).

Contact is I’d say inconsistent, probably reflecting it’s one person. Sometimes email replies are instantaneous. But I figured out after years that if I didn’t hear within a couple days, I wasn’t going to and needed to ping him again.

I haven’t bought there for almost 2 years.

I think that’s true except for some shipping/warehouse ppl.

I’ve worked with them for years; the owner is on this forum btw.

Then the issue will come to his attention.

Yeah, as I remember this is a one-man operation, and communications/cust service reflects that. Not that it isn’t annoying, or even cause to look elsewhere, but it is understandable to a degree.

Is the bottle something in which you are interested?

love the place. One of my favorites.

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I’ve been buying from them for years, with no serious issues and a lot of great wine at good prices.

While I am, of course, a fan of great service, I am inclined to be very forgiving of most delays or mistakes or even dropped communications, especially these days. Most things get worked out eventually.

I too will pile on: I’ve had nothing but good service and the one time (just recently on their Thanksgiving sales) they could only find 2 out of three bottles of Burg I ordered. Byran wrote a nice note on the shipping invoice and had already credited my account.

Only had good experiences.

frankly i would reconsider.

i’ve known bryan for more years than i care to admit; and just to be upfront, i’m his IT guy. i do his website.

he’s a solid guy, with a great palate, and in my experience, always makes good on customer problems. not to say, that someone has had a bad experience and now harbors a grudge or whatever… but that can be said of any business.

now, i can not comment on the OP’s issue, but building a relationship with a wine shop requires more than buying a couple of back vintage wines, letting them sit for a year at a shop, and then complaining on a wine board when they are mis-shipped in the middle of a pandemic and not getting a return label. which is frequently the case when people complain about him… not necessarily the pandemic part… but you get the drift…

when i visit bryan, i bring my puffy (down jacket). his facility is cold, and he treats his wine well. and he is primarily a one man operation. and we are in the middle of wine shipping season…

if you want to complain about his website, i’m listening…


I read through the OP again carefully and I have to say, I can see why sending a return label for a bottle being sent back to the shop wouldn’t be a priority during a busy time.

Yong - is it really such a hardship to have a single bottle that you don’t want sitting in your house while you wait for the label? Have they refunded you for the bottle you actually wanted and did not receive? If not, well, that’s an issue. But you didn’t say anything about a delayed refund, just a delayed label. So, if you did get a refund, what are you complaining about? How is it truly an inconvenience to you if it takes a couple of weeks to implement the return? I understand that the original substitution was not ideal and should not have happened, but it sounds as if Bryan was perfectly willing to make right. Everyone has his own breaking point, of course, but to me, this is simply not a big deal. Certainly not a reason to stop doing business with a good shop. Maybe there’s more to it than you’ve related, but as described…

I’ve been buying for a couple of years and have had no problems, only good experiences. BTW, Bryan turned me onto the Glantenay “Elixir” rosé, which is a completely bonkers value.

I did not get a refund. I did not get any communications from him in 3 weeks. I dont mind not getting a return shipping label promptly if he at least told me hes too busy to do so. Why do I have to chase him down? Is writing an quick email that hard? I decided to just keep the wine and I wont do business with him. It doesnt matter if I bought 1 bottle from him or I am a customer that bought many. Big or small a purchase a customer shouldn’t have to chase him down for a mistake he made.

Regarding his IT guy’s comment about “mis-ship”, the owner wrote in an email that he didnt have the wine I purchased and he decided on his own that I wouldnt mind getting something else.

"building a relationship with a wine shop requires more than buying a couple of back vintage wines, letting them sit for a year at a shop, and then complaining on a wine board when they are mis-shipped in the middle of a pandemic and not getting a return label. "

I dont understand the quoted post. Does a customer have to build a relationship first to get orders correct? Is there a minimum spend that a customer needs to meet to get proper treatment? To me a wine shop or any other businesses should build their relationship with their customers.

Bryan is a one man band. It might take a while but some of my most memorable buys are through that shop. I bought 2002 Mugnier Les Amoureuses at $150. Also 2001 Mugnier Amoureuses from Bryan. He always delivered. I would give him a chance to make good. Just my experience. It does take a while to get in contact sometimes. BTW, he owns that shop I believe.

No, you shouldn’t have to chase him down. I 100% agree with you. But sometimes one does have to chase or follow up repeatedly to bring a transaction to completion or work things out. In a perfect world, we’d all do all the things we should do right away. You are absolutely right that writing a quick email is not that hard. That said, sometimes even those easy things slip, especially at a one person operation during the busiest season of the year.

Look, there’s no question whatsoever that, if everything you say is true and there isn’t any mitigating information we’re missing here, then you were in the right. I don’t disagree with you and I’m happy to give you the sympathy and approbation that I assume was part of your goal in posting here. But by bringing this into a public forum, you’ve also opened up yourself up to differing opinions. Mine is that this is just not that big a deal, unless the bottle that hasn’t been refunded is enormously expensive and you need that money back to pay your mortgage. It may take a bit, but it’ll get worked out.

I go back to what I said originally - I tend to be very forgiving, these days particularly. I don’t think extreme reactions should be the default. I’m sure it will get worked out eventually. The multiple responses here in support of Vins Rare and Bryan make that an almost certainty.

I agree with Sarah about it being a busy time etc, and can totally understand that a one man store will not prioritize getting a return label. The problem for me is the original substitution without letting the customer know.

Yes, I agree with you, Sarah and others that it is not a priority but I think a quick email could be done after 3 weeks. Anyways, I am done with this. There are many other shops out there for me and there are many other customers out there for Vins rare.