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Aug 21, 2012 09:47 AM

Anyone else find this more than just a little ridiculous?

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  1. I don't find it particularly ridiculous besides the obvious display of hubris. Is there any particular reason you find it ridiculous?

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    1. What is wrong with one stop shopping? I do that all the time. It saves gas -electric car delivery, eliminates parking fees....I AM concerned about the heated wrap they let you wear to shield you from the cool temperatures though.... if it is not a Hermes wrap...I shan't cloak myself in it. ;)

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      1. What's ridiculous about opening a shop in one of the most affluent areas of London to fleece people with more money than sense?

        1. I wonder if they sell port tongs. I searched everywhere for them in 1978 and ended up at Richard Keil's old was an amusing and instructive afternoon.

          2 Replies
          1. re: hazelhurst

            Perhaps not in NOLA, but port tongs are relatively easy to find . . .

            1. re: zin1953

              They are NOW but in 1978 I couldn't find any in New York. I bought a few sets as gifts and told everyone to experiment on cheap bottles. Sure enough, some people got A-1 explosions.

          2. I don't find it anymore ridiculous than a place selling Bugattis or Tim Heywood yachts or Fioravanti suits.

            If I was in the market for such high end wines and spirits, I'd probably not spend much time (or money) at the local Liquor World (and if I had the money, I would be in that market)..

            5 Replies
            1. re: FrankJBN

              Clearly you and I shop differently. It's been my experience that this type of wine shop charges $$$$ (or, I suppose in this case it's ££££) more than other shops with the same wines, equally well cared for and stored in temperature-controlled conditions.

              1. re: zin1953

                Plainly from the article, there are not too many other wine shops offering the same products.

                Why though is it ridiculous for a high-end purveyor of luxury goods to attain some of its exclusivity through high prices? (See for example Harlan's wines). To me, it would seem more ridiculous if they discounted their goods.

                My guess would be that you and I might "shop" more similarly than you suppose. Thing is, the customers of places like this are not "shopping", they are buying. Someone in the market for one of 12 existing bottles of a wine or a bottle that lists for over $150,000 are not quibbling over price or asking for a discount for cash or even thinking 'Maybe I should check at the Cash and Carry for a better deal'.. They want to be pampered and treated as different from everyone else - which indeed they are - unless you and your friends are contemplating going in on a case of the Kalimna Block 42 which will sell for just under $2,000,000 with a 5% case discount.

                These days I do most of my wine buying at a farm to shelf temp control boutique seller. Just like this guy? . I don't think they have anything over $200 a bottle - but generally I'm not looking at the $100 + anyway.

                1. re: FrankJBN

                  While they are the only retailer that admits to carrying that ludicrously priced "ampule" from Penfold's, I have little doubt that most of their inventory is available elsewhere. Since I cannot speak for residents of the UK -- other than to say I have purchased many wines there, but tend to buy (mostly) from merchants with long track-records -- let me translate this for one moment to the US.

                  Most of the so-called "high rollers" I know do not, it is true, shop at Beverages, & more! or Total Beverage; Whole Foods or Trader Joe's; or the corner mom 'n' pop liquor store or the supermarket. But they *do* shop at places like Premier Cru, K&L, The Wine Club, Hi-Time, Wine Exchange, and other, similar stores (all these are in California; again, I am speaking from personal experience only).

                  The people whop shop at "carriage trade" stores, OTOH, are indeed shopping, rather than buying. Again, this has been my experience working in such stores.

                  1. re: zin1953

                    I'm still not getting your point. The place obviously caters to folks who are into conspicuous consumption and are willing to pony up for supposedlu superb product at inflated prices. As a reference point, there are wealthy Chinese who buy Petrus and Vosne-Romanee and mix it with Coca Cola.

                    1. re: kagemusha49

                      Once upon a time, I was selling wine at a retail store in Hollywood. A very elegantly dressed elderly woman came in and asked for a bottle of Dom Pérignon -- not an uncommon occurrence, as we generally sold 10 cases a week minimum, and always kept 15 cases on hand. As I was walking her over to the wine, I inquired whether this was a gift or if it was for herself because, I added, "If it's for you, I have several other bottles of Champagne which are less expensive and, in my opinion, better. For example, this --"

                      She cut off abruptly, saying, "Young man, I am not buying the wine; I am buying the bottle!"

                      So, yes, there ARE indeed folks who are into conspicuous consumption and willing to pay inflated prices. Absolutely true. But a fool and their money . . . .

                      Most people that I've dealt with who are serious about their wines -- the steady, repeat customers upon whom any successful wine store relies -- are not that foolish. But as Brad said below, "Time will tell . . . "