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Buying Wine - Pet Peeves

Probably like many people on this board, I spend quite a bit of time and money drinking, tasting, reading, and enjoying wine and gastronomy.

Earlier today I purchased a bottle of wine I have never seen in a retail store and encountered something that really annoys me: a price tag on the front of the bottle above the label. Yes, I know in the grand scheme of things that it will not alter the taste of the wine and there are indeed tons of things I should be concerned about in this world, yet this really bothers me since it often is a pain to remove and the stickiness never quite comes off.

I'm sure we all have our Pet Peeves when buying wine at a variety of establishments, so I wanted to see what bothers other people? Storage? Temperature? Uniformed staff? Yes, I'm a wine geek and even comment on stemware when I see people drinking on TV, but I suppose everybody has a hobby...

Cheers!

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  1. My main pet peeves with the retail buying experience:

    - Ignorant staff members
    - Sales people intent on selling you whatever they're getting bonuses on
    - Same wine as everywhere else
    - Ridiculous markups

    There are definitely more, but those came to mind first.

    2 Replies
    1. re: orlwine

      an overly warm/hot environment does it for me

      1. re: drumwine

        We were in New Orleans shortly after Katrina, I visited a well stocked wine shop in the Quarter looking for a few nice wines, but on reflection could not justify spending the money on something that may have spent quite some time in high temps and humidity.

    2. Razor blade for price sticker removal.

      My main issue is temperature -- both on the floor and where the wine is stored beforehand. There are wine shops where I live that carry wines I'd purchase elsewhere, but their climate conditions stop me from purchasing in their stores.

      Smaller issues include 1) the "trophy wines" under lock and key (and not necessarily any better climate); 2) not making all wines available to all customers; 3) different vintage in the store than what was advertised in the sales literature.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Brad Ballinger

        One particular shop in Phoenix removes the price stickers. When I serve a bottle, if it is still there, I do the task. I even keep a "scraper" in the cellar, just in case.

        Reminds me that I need to remove and replace my wife's VIP parking sticker on her car... gotta' go down to the cellar to "borrow" the scraper.

        Hunt

        1. re: Bill Hunt

          Yes, there is one nice wine shop in San Francisco that removes the sticker as you check out.

          That is great if you are picking up something to bring as a gift to dinner.

          If I am just buying wine for home, I like to keep the sticker to remind me what the price was when I get around to opening it, especially if I am trying something new.

          1. re: pamf

            I am with you on that, as I try to log my wines into my database. Plus, I keep a scraper in the cellar to remove. Still, if heading to an event, it's greatly appreciated.

            Hunt

            1. re: Bill Hunt

              When I owned my shop I always asked if the customer wanted the price sticker removed if I knew or sensed the bottle was a gift. There were also lots of times when the customer would not mention the reason but would try to remove the sticker at the time of sale. I always kept some razor blades and odorless GoofOff available for that purpose.

              1. re: Midlife

                To me, it's a nice service. I avail myself of it, when appropriate. When needed later, I have one in the cellar for that purpose.

                Nice treat for your clients,

                Hunt

      2. All the mom-and-pop liquor stores here have the same stuff. It's like they all have the same distributor and they let that distributor make the decisions on what wines to offer.

        1. Best way to take off the sticker....piece of scotch tape over the label then pull off.
          What annoys me at wine shops....
          1.) Customers who think they know more than the next person about wine.
          2.) Customers that take up a wine demo time by telling the person giving the demo everything they think they know about their wine. Same goes for the big wine events. You get stuck behind some blow hard that has to tell the Rep everything about that wine. Who are you impressing besides yourself?
          3.) Wineries who only want their wines on restaurant menus. Cakebread...you're really not that good...get off your high horse!
          4.) Customers who insist on up selling other customers. No Blackstone is not the best Merlot in world and Kendall Jackson is not the King of chardonnays It may work for you, but it is sewer water to others...let us experiment.
          5.) Store staff trying to sell me on a piece of crap that they bought for $1 and charging me $10 because ya know that their palate is just as good as Robert Parker....
          6.) Which reminds me...Robert Parker, Spectator, Tanzer are all good "reference materials" , but are not the BIBLES to buy by. If you feel the need to buy only because one of the mentioned people said it was 90+ points then good for you you lemming. And by the way...you do not have Robert Parker's same taste buds. If you do then you should be writing your own column.
          I love love wine. I love the experience of drinking it with other friends who appreciate good wine. I love browsing a store (I'm part browser on my mother's side...Rodney Dangerfield) looking for new things or old gems. I don't like sales people disturbing me when I'm in the zone,telling me "oh ya know that this is better than that." JUST LET ME BE!!! I'll make my own mistakes, because that is part of the intrigue and learning experience of wine.

          5 Replies
          1. re: triggs73

            So................. tell us what you REALLY think.

            I can't say that I completely disagree with any of your points, though I do think you might benefit from a few sessions on anger management. ;o)

            If you would, please list the shops and events you frequent so I can be sure to avoid them.

            1. re: Midlife

              I think I've heard that before....I wish I could tell you the shops in CT, but that would be wrong. I do stay away from any big box chain. I try to help out the little guy with the best service, because it is the service that I appreciate the most. But I could tell to avoid the shows at the 2 casinos. Even the trade shows that I attend, my shop gives me his passes, are full of blow hards.

              1. re: triggs73

                Owned a wine shop for 3 years until just recently. Your post rang lots of bells, though my experiences must have been more 'civilized'.

                1. re: Midlife

                  That's funny to hear. I keep a lot in....until I get on CH

              2. re: Midlife

                Tried that, bottom line is my anger management class is really pissing me off. ; >P

            2. What bothers me: running out of Goo Gone.
              (First you scratch that damned label off, then clean the goo)

              http://www.magicamerican.com/googone/...

              1 Reply
              1. re: RicRios

                I forgot about that....my mother claims that it works wonders!