Busted a bottle in the store today

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Busted a bottle in the store today

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Thu Apr 13, 2006 2:39 am

So I was at Corti Bros. today, and they had a '93 Zilliken Saarburger Rausch Riesling Spatlese for $24. I have no idea whether this represents a good, bad, or indifferent bargain but it looked interesting. I grabbed a bottle and a box of vialone nano and took it to the checkout stand. They put it all in a plastic bag for me, which I then picked up to take with me. As soon as I picked it up, it slipped from my hand and hit the floor. The delicate aroma of riesling immediately filled the air and the clerk gave me a look that was a really impressive combination of suppressed hostility and exasperation. Of course, I apologized immediately. He just looked at me and said, "Go get what you need, sir." I remarked at how good the wine smelled and he glared a little more and then said, "Go get another one, sir". So I did, thanking him profusely and apologizing more for the mess. Very embarrassing.

So is it pretty much standard practice to eat the cost of a moderately priced wine when the bonehead consumer drops the bottle? I'm happy they were willing to do so, and I will make an extra effort to buy stuff there in the future (although if you know Corti's, you know that there's nothing short of death that would keep me out of their store for long). Anyone else have experiences like this?

Mike

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Re: Busted a bottle in the store today

Postby Robin Garr » Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:40 am

Mike Filigenzi (Sacto) wrote:Anyone else have experiences like this?


I'll see your dropped Riesling and raise you, Mike. This goes back a way - it was right after we moved back to Louisville, must have been around 1995, and I was shopping at the old Party Source, a suburban warehouse store with an excellent wine program, on a hot summer day. I had just checked out, like you, and a bottle of something red and, as I recall, expensive, shot through a crack in the plastic bag and smashed on the floor, also taking a good shot at my exposed, Birkie-clad third toe in the process. Bright red fluid spattered up my leg (I was wearing shorts, fortunately), and I had to look twice to make sure it was not blood.

The clerks didn't even make me go get another bottle ... they had so much class, they tried to make me feel it was their fault.

I thought I was un-injured, but as it turned out, the toe started hurting like hell about an hour later, and throbbed off and on for about six weeks. I suppose I might have even broken it, although I gutted it out and never sought treatment for it. It looks kind of funny to this day, but then, toes look funny anyway. :-)

From that day to this, if I ever get wine in plastic bags, I insist that they double up.
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Re: Busted a bottle in the store today

Postby Bob Ross » Thu Apr 13, 2006 11:57 am

I've never broken a bottle in a store -- in fact I can only remember breaking one bottle -- a lovely Musar on an asphalt driveway on a beautiful summer evening. The aromas were so incredible mixed with the summer smells -- it was worth doing just for the joy of the thing.

But, the day I first found Bertelli's, an old line retailer in Clifton, NJ, a clutzy lady dropped three bottles in twelve minutes, before the clerks hustled her out of the store.

I was surprised at how the bottles seemed to explode -- each time there was a very sharp retort, and glass and wine spread for several feet in all directions.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Busted a bottle in the store today

Postby Bill Buitenhuys » Thu Apr 13, 2006 12:17 pm

I never broke a bottle either, but when I was 10yrs old I broke a full gumball machine in a sporting goods shop by inadvertantly hitting it with a baseball bat. I could have been the spokeskid for a "Wanna Run Away?" commercial. :oops:
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Re: Busted a bottle in the store today

Postby JC (NC) » Thu Apr 13, 2006 1:19 pm

When I lived in California I had some groceries in a cart outside the Safeway. The wind was so fierce that when I went to open my car door, the wind PUSHED the cart over the curb and it fell on its side, breaking a bottle of wine and scattering the ripe strawberries. The store replaced the bottle of wine, for which I was grateful, but did not mention the strawberries.[/b]
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Re: Busted a bottle in the store today

Postby SFJoe » Thu Apr 13, 2006 4:59 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Mike Filigenzi (Sacto) wrote:Anyone else have experiences like this?

I thought I was un-injured, but as it turned out, the toe started hurting like hell about an hour later, and throbbed off and on for about six weeks. I suppose I might have even broken it, although I gutted it out and never sought treatment for it.

Funny coincidence, I am gimping around with a broken third toe this week.

Seeking treatment for a broken toe is one of the most unfulfilling things you can ever do, unless it is quite mangled. Long waits, X-rays, and so on, and then they explain that yes, it is broken, and there is really nothing to be done unless you want it taped to the next one. Oh, and that will be $400, please.
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Re: Busted a bottle in the store today

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Thu Apr 13, 2006 5:04 pm

SFJoe wrote:
Robin Garr wrote:
Mike Filigenzi (Sacto) wrote:Anyone else have experiences like this?

I thought I was un-injured, but as it turned out, the toe started hurting like hell about an hour later, and throbbed off and on for about six weeks. I suppose I might have even broken it, although I gutted it out and never sought treatment for it.

Funny coincidence, I am gimping around with a broken third toe this week.

Seeking treatment for a broken toe is one of the most unfulfilling things you can ever do, unless it is quite mangled. Long waits, X-rays, and so on, and then they explain that yes, it is broken, and there is really nothing to be done unless you want it taped to the next one. Oh, and that will be $400, please.


Yep. Last time I broke a toe, I went to the doctor. He looked at it and told me that if it stopped hurting in a week or two, it wasn't broken. If it stopped hurting in six weeks or so, it was.

Mike

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Re: Busted a bottle in the store today

Postby Bob Ross » Thu Apr 13, 2006 6:43 pm

Janet laughed when I asked if I ever broke a bottle other than that Musar. She says I drop them all the time. That's why we have mats in the wine cellars.

And, she says, when I drop something like a bottle, I have a way of falling down with it at the same time. Cushioning the final impact as it were. That's why the chef at CIA was so shocked at the way I followed my chef's knife down to the floor. At least when I drop a knife I've learned an aversion technique.

As to busted toes, a hiking buddy is subject to that problem -- eight or nine different times. He's learned he says you have to get those x-rays. One time the break chafed against a ligament, and the toe is still bent up and under, which gives him hard going with heavy loads.

Busting it again won't do anything to fix the ligament. Be happy, he says, if the doc says he can't do anything for you. That's the best news you can get.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Busted a bottle in the store today

Postby MarkE » Thu Apr 13, 2006 7:29 pm

I think I only broke three bottles in last ten years, which is not bad, considering the thousands handled. But unfortunately they were all expensive ones: an Alsace GC, a Burg GC, and a German TBA. Yep, I remember them. :cry:
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Re: Busted a bottle in the store today

Postby Bob Cohen » Thu Apr 13, 2006 8:53 pm

I've never broken a bottle in a store, but I think it's good form for the store to replace it, gratis, if you do break one in the store, especially if it was clearly an accident.

The last bottle I've dropped was in the garage while I was unloading the car. One bottle slipped and - wow, they *do* seem to explode like a bomb!
--Bob
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Re: Busted a bottle in the store today

Postby Bob Henrick » Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:26 pm

[quote="Robin Garr"]The clerks didn't even make me go get another bottle ... they had so much class, they tried to make me feel it was their fault.

Ok Robin, I will probably be the only onlooker that might understand, but who was it that made you feel so good? Was it Anne, or Ken? :-)
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Re: Busted a bottle in the store today

Postby Robin Garr » Thu Apr 13, 2006 9:36 pm

Bob Henrick wrote:Was it Anne, or Ken? :-)


Nope, just one of the cash register clerks. Might have been Beth, but I really don't remember. It wasn't anyone I knew.
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Re: Busted a bottle in the store today

Postby Bob Henrick » Thu Apr 13, 2006 10:46 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Bob Henrick wrote:Was it Anne, or Ken? :-)


Nope, just one of the cash register clerks. Might have been Beth, but I really don't remember. It wasn't anyone I knew.


Then that is even more of a kudo to Ken Lewis and his way of doing business. I still tut-tut him when I see him in Northern Kentucky on my shopping trips for selling out. IIRC I have made exactly one wine shopping trip to Louisville since that unhappy event.
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Re: Busted a bottle in the store today

Postby Robin Garr » Thu Apr 13, 2006 11:07 pm

Bob Henrick wrote:I have made exactly one wine shopping trip to Louisville since that unhappy event.


That's certainly your decision, Bob, but it's really not an over-the-cliff change like what happened with the newspapers here when Gannett came. There were some things I liked about the old Party Source, but in fairness, it hasn't been all downhill. Liquor Barn has a significantly larger collection now, although it's distributed differently. Austria and Germany have pretty much gone down the tubes, but there's a lot more high-end stuff (and even a large, walk-in cooler room to house it) ... didn't I run into you in there once? Rob seems to ride an Italian hobby-horse, and his Italian collection now rivals some of the better NYC shops, although I can't afford most of it. And the California collection is strong now, Washington and Oregon also represented if not as strong. Some of the staff now are very knowledgeable.

It should also be noted that the scene has changed a lot, and LB is far from the only game in town. Gemelli has come along as an excellent high-end small shop, and The Wine Rack as a very good affordable small shop. Old Town is very good - and they dominated the Kermit Lynch and Grateful Palate market even before Ken left town. They also run Wine Market, which is full of decent selections. St. Matthews Wine Co. has wines that no one else gets, and so does Old Mill, a good-size shop across the river in New Albany, where a whole different set of distributors means different wines and sometimes favorable pricing.

So ... be loyal to Ken if you wish, but it's not exactly as if he left this town a wine wasteland when he went away.
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Re: Busted a bottle in the store today

Postby Otto » Fri Apr 14, 2006 7:07 am

Bob Ross wrote:I've never broken a bottle in a store -- in fact I can only remember breaking one bottle -- a lovely Musar on an asphalt driveway on a beautiful summer evening. The aromas were so incredible mixed with the summer smells -- it was worth doing just for the joy of the thing.


Oh the pain, the pain!!!! Musar?!?!?!? How could you!?!? I was going to write that you are terribly clumsy until I remembered that since Christmas I've broken a decanter a Riedel Bx glass and, sniff of all sniffs, a Musar rouge 97.
I don't drink wine because of religious reasons ... only for other reasons.
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Re: Busted a bottle in the store today

Postby Bob Ross » Fri Apr 14, 2006 10:29 am

I felt terrible, Otto, but the aroma was so incredible with all the other smells of that summer night ... the only other wine whose aroma I so well remember was a burgundy given to me by another lawyer in Lausanne. I was working on a budget presentation; I can remember it still. From my diary six months after I started to drink wine seriously:

"9/23/95 1982 Lionel de Pontbriand Vosne-Romanne Les Suchots Nuits Saint-George Côte d’Or Burgundy France. Dinner in hotel room of bread, grapes and cheese. Gift from Renaud of first of three bottles: “ A Prestigious Bourgogne”: [This may be Renaud’s client.] Dark red color; deep and complex fruit aroma, especially plums; intense flavor at first with complex fruit, plums, mild tannin; 30 to 45 second finish; held flavor and aroma for over two hours as I sipped and read and wrote. An excellent wine. 5*"

My only defense for breaking that bottle of Musar, Otto, is that it was a unique experience, in more than one way.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Busted a bottle in the store today

Postby Peter May » Sat Apr 15, 2006 6:58 am

Robin Garr wrote: a bottle of something red and, as I recall, expensive, shot through a crack in the plastic bag and smashed on the floor,

The clerks didn't even make me go get another bottle ... they had so much class, they tried to make me feel it was their fault.


My thinking is that if the shop use bags that aren't strong enough to hold the goods they put in them, then they are responsible. The staff's reaction was good, and I'd have expected it.

A return that did impress me was in Austin TX where we'd bought take away coffees from little gourmet coffee shop. After we left the shop, about 20 feet away my colleague dropped her full coffee. She went back to the shop -- I thought to buy another -- but she demanded a replacement and instructed one of the staff there to immediately stop what he was doing and come and clean up the mess. They complied to both requests with smiles and apologies. I was in awe of her long afterwards.
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