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Sep 19, 2007 04:02 PM

montesquieu wine exchange

A "First" for me....I got a call today from a telemarketer regarding buying wine from montesquieu. I'd never heard of the company before, and her approach...high pressure, deflecting questions back to the script, and general fast talk made me a bit suspicious. When I asked her how she had gotten my name, she indicated that "she had been referred to me". I asked by whom and she said "we work with the twin cities wine experience". Odd, because i've never actually gone to the event.

Anyways, the sales pitch was that they were brokers of small boutique wineries. They worked..... "directly with winemakers. You know, like harlan, who want to make other wines but can't do it under their normal labels of course" (lol)

I wasnt sure if they were a negociant or if they did marketing for boutique wineries, but the whole pitch smelled funny. Their website listed hundreds of labels, but I wasn't familiar with any of them. So I did a google search and the only comments that i found were interesting...

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  1. Yikes. Very shady, but not surprising. I'm just impressed that you managed to stay on the phone with a telemarketer to hear all this information!

    Good one about Harlan.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mengathon

      Yeah, it was so odd to get telemarketed for A) wine and B) Wine while at work, that I was just sort of dumbfounded. I'm glad that I was able to collect my thoughts enough to avoid ordering a case of Screaming Beagle Cabernet. ;)

      The pitch must work tho...I guess it shows how desperate folks are to get in on the ground floor of the next hot boutique wine.

      1. re: chrisinroch

        You have "nailed it!" It's all in the "marketing," tele, or otherwise. Some brick n' mortar shops set themselves up as similar. A recent thread on this board indicated similar - close out wine, sold as being "boutique."

        There are even some retail brands, that claim to be using wine from "undisclosed, top producers," that I've found to be plonk. These folk drop a lot of hints, to intimate that the wine is worth much more, than it is being sold for. The role of a real negotiant is to market a wine, or maybe even make it for someone else's grapes, or juice. It's a respected practice in the hands of a scrupulous merchant.

        I get tons of junk mail, offering similar, but always recycle it. Only call that I've gotten was from a small distributor in CA, who actually could deliver, and not obscure wines from unheard of producers, and appelations, but from real winemakers, who had a bit of overstock. Not great savings, but worth the effort.


    2. She called back today as promised. Very odd phone call, very high pressure, Now it turns out that she got my name from "someone who attended the chicago food and wine experience" Total B.S. When I told her that nobody I know has ever been there, she said...."You can't think that I just called you up out of the phone book at random hoping that you drink wine." (LOL!!)

      I usually hang up on telemarketers after a polite, "no thanks", but the call was so odd and she was so entertaining with her pitch that I kept up the conversation. Eventually, she turned it into a "It really hurts my feelings that you don't trust me, I'm insulted" It was great!!!

      1 Reply
      1. re: chrisinroch

        -"It really hurts my feelings that you don't trust me, I'm insulted"

        HAHAHA This cant be what telemarketers are being taught these days! What's next, I need money for school?

        I am seriously considering finding my way on their call list just for the amusement.

      2. Telemarketing of wine has been around since at least the 1980s. Pierroth used to do it in the 1980s by setting up a "Tupperware" party in your house and tasting you on a whole bunch of crappy wines . . .

        Geerlings & Wade were another one, and there were several others. And now these guys . . . .

        1 Reply
        1. re: zin1953

          Yes, we hosted a similar event, and were so glad that I had brought up some "good" wine, for the time that the rep. left. As I recall, she sold about $20 worth of their wine. Shortly after her departure, we did a Beringer Howell Mtn. Bancroft Ranch Merlot, and a Groth "Red Stripe" Cab. I believe that this was the last time that I attended such an event - that was not for charity. Pretty bleak.

          Thanks for the memories,

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. Thanks for taking the time to post this -- I'm in the middle of a job search and thought it sounded off when I saw the job posting -- now I know it is!

            1 Reply
            1. re: winegirl1973

              No Problem. The place sounds like it would make for an interesting 60 minutes segment.