Let me start by saying I hate being cold called. Usually within 30 seconds of the overly familiar dulcet tones of a complete stranger I hang up and wonder how the hell they got my number. I consider myself a champion of free choice and the last thing I want is someone trying to sell me something I don’t want on my mobile phone in the middle of a busy day. Stocks, charitable donations and real estate seem to be the most popular here in Australia and all get the same short shrift.
For the first time in my life I bought something from one such call recently and yes you guessed it, it was my local wine merchant who had clearly got my details from their loyalty card database.
I was at a loose end eating my lunch so I gave the guy 5 minutes curious to see if he had the skills to part with my money on something ‘unseen’.
When you think about it, when you peruse the hundreds of bottles at your local store it is interesting what influences your buying choices. It might be a sale price promotion, great value for something that is under priced (I get a lot of this in Australia on European wine, Aussies don’t seem to see the value in overseas wine!), or it might be, dare I say it, the label or some random award won by the wine at last years provincial wine show!
So it was actually quite fun trying to buy unseen. He asked questions around preferences and tried to offer wines that he thought were close in flavour, grape variety, price point etc. Sadly it became clear after a few minutes that he was reading from a script and his knowledge was pretty basic but I went with it. We ended up with three wines, a Bordeaux and two Rioja’s once he established that I was interested in his less popular but great value ranges. I committed to two bottles of each and paid over the phone hoping that he was who he said he was and not some scammer taking my money 🙂
Within a few minutes I got a confirmation via email and sure enough in a few days the wine arrived at my local Post Office awaiting collection.
The wine was actually very good, a basic Cosecha 2014 Rioja called Musica En El Camino. The salesman from Vintage Cellars said that the wines he offered were slightly cheaper than those in their shops at AUD$10.99 (£6.17 or USD$ 8.18 – it is actually AUD$14.99 in their stores so it’s more than a “little bit cheaper”). I felt I got great value for money and it was delicious with that characteristic Rioja taste that I have really missed since moving to Australia.
So all in all I have to say my experience of telephone sales from Vintage Cellars has been good and I’ll probably respond again next time they call. That said I have to say there is something about grazing over rows and rows of bottles looking for that star bottle that I will never stop enjoying but once in a while it’s good to try something different!