Wine shopping has become a hazardous experience, especially when undertaken at peak times. On Saturday morning I went browsing for an interesting selection at a large ‘discount’ outlet. I had barely gained my bearings inside the store than a promoter was offering me a taste of wine she assured me was delicious. I managed to shrug off her further offer to assist me in choosing my purchases, and then had to brace myself for the next promoter. With a jinx and a step off the left foot I got past the third promoter, only to find the first promoter positioned between myself and the shelf, once again offering assistance.
Quietly, but slightly less politely, I once again asserted myself, which bought me a minute, or so, of peaceful browsing, before offers of assistance started flowing in again. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy to accept recommendations from trained professionals (i.e. the people who actually run the store), but having part-timers getting in my space, pushing their dubious wares, was more than irritating.
It doesn’t help that as a wine producer myself I can see what’s happening – difficult market conditions means that we all have to work very much harder to keep wine moving out of the cellar doors.
(Note to self: cancel all Saturday morning promotions)