Reality in the Wine World: Sometimes It’s Just Better to Walk Away..

Comical story about trying to help a woman purchase wine in a wine store. I thought this person needed help, but I didn’t work in the store, I was acting as a “roving wine professional”, something I rarely do anymore because of incidents like this:

Charlie is looking at the wine displays in a concept wine store, where wines are listed by their “style.” He overhears a woman asking questions about wine to the store’s salesperson and decides to help out:

Charlie: “Miss, hi, I’m a local wine professional. May I help
out?”

Woman: “I don’t know. I’m looking for a bottle of wine.”

Charlie: “Do you have a purpose in mind? I mean is it for dinner or are you entertaining.”

Woman: “Maybe. I’m not sure.”

Charlie: “Are you just looking for a bottle to have tonight?”

Woman: “I’m not sure. I just want a good bottle of wine!”

Charlie: “Are there any foods you prefer? That might help me?”

Woman: “I don’t know. Maybe.”

I never seem to be able to help people purchase wines in retail situations – I think they’re just too overwhelmed or stressed out by the process of purchasing wine. As they say, if you don’t know where you’re going, all roads will lead you there – it seems very true with American consumers and their wine purchases. More stories and anecdotes like this are in my upcoming book “I Drink on the Job: A Refreshing Perspective on Wine” Book Website Live after February, 15th, 2010.

Charlie “I Drink on the Job” Adler

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2 responses to “Reality in the Wine World: Sometimes It’s Just Better to Walk Away..

  1. Charlie, I guess you should leave retail sales to the real “wine professionals.” Instead of throwing up my hands because this customer didn’t know what she wanted, I would have patiently worked with her until she was satisfied. Many years in wine retail taught me how to communicate with this type of customer, and I actually preferred this type of customer to the “Where is the [insert brand name] Chardonnay?” customer.

  2. Exactly! I’m not cut out to sell wine to consumers – it takes a certain kind of person who has way more patience and frankly can read between the lines – I take things WAY too literally!! The woman mentioned, though, was driving the sales person crazy at the store, I mean I sort of had it coming to me..

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