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Beau Carufel
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#2401 Post by Beau Carufel » February 12th, 2014, 6:26 pm

I have to post a positive experience with Garagiste. Last July I purchased some of the Vincent Paris 30 Cornas that the offer said was there at the warehouse. It was still showing as pre-arrival when fellow Berserker Ron Felthoven picked up my wines in January though. I emailed them asking for a refund and it was done in a day. I also asked to switch out the out-of-stock St. Martin Cuvee Garrigue for a newer vintage (I ordered 2009, it was out, asked for 2010) and Christine emailed back right away offering to switch to another wine with good CT reviews. This took place over the course of a couple of days and I am quite happy with their customer service.
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#2402 Post by NoahR » February 12th, 2014, 6:40 pm

Experiences have been fine for me as well. Have received two shipments of 3-5 cases and two shipments of foods/oils. I think they are full of it when the estimate when the wine will arrive unless it's already there or local, but no long waits or bait-and-switches with me this far on a sample of 100+ bottles...
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#2403 Post by John O' » February 12th, 2014, 6:42 pm

I was good until they pulled this sleazy play. Latest: Nicki is waiting to confer with Jon tomorrow.
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#2404 Post by Chuck Miller » February 12th, 2014, 7:04 pm

just my opinion, but Nikki shouldn't have to ask Jon shit. Jon promised delivery by Xmas or free. Period.
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#2405 Post by John O' » February 13th, 2014, 10:34 am

I've talked to Jon and we'll issue the credit today (and make sure they're sent out w/ your next shipment!)
Cheers,
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#2406 Post by S. Reynolds » February 18th, 2014, 5:44 pm

Tips on the process for corked wines? Just opened my first from Garagiste (2010 Chionetti Dolcetto... totally shot and foul) and sent Nicki and Melisa an email. Curious about other experiences.
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#2407 Post by rfelthoven » February 18th, 2014, 6:15 pm

I found they used to honor corked bottles without question. In the past couple of years they have asked me to bring in my corked bottles and even rejected the last one claiming it wasn't corked. This is about 6 returned bottles over several years and hundreds purchased so I am not bringing bottles back frequently.
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#2408 Post by Beau Carufel » February 18th, 2014, 6:33 pm

S. Reynolds wrote:Tips on the process for corked wines? Just opened my first from Garagiste (2010 Chionetti Dolcetto... totally shot and foul) and sent Nicki and Melisa an email. Curious about other experiences.
I've only had a couple of corked bottles, both were refunded within a few days of my email.
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#2409 Post by gene keenan » February 20th, 2014, 11:36 am

Todd F r e n c h wrote:I'm confused...isn't pesto super easy to make?
Buying cooked pesto (which is what it would have to be) is an odd idea. So easy to make. But I am sure the offer from Jon came with bs along the lines of "picked by virgins, crushed by the feet new born babies and bottled by thor."
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#2410 Post by gene keenan » February 20th, 2014, 11:38 am

S. Reynolds wrote:Tips on the process for corked wines? Just opened my first from Garagiste (2010 Chionetti Dolcetto... totally shot and foul) and sent Nicki and Melisa an email. Curious about other experiences.
As much as I don't like Garagiste Nicki was really great at crediting me for shitty bottles. Sad to hear she now required to "confer with Jon" now.
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#2411 Post by gene keenan » February 20th, 2014, 11:43 am

Chris Blum wrote:I've tried their "can't live without it" mustards. I dunno. I guess I can live without it. We have a great local artisanal/gourmet food store now so maybe I'm jaded.
This mustard maker up in Canada makes better mustard than the "Mustard King" and it's less expensive.
http://www.mustardmaker.com

Does Jon still offer those mustards? There is a separate importer now to the US so I was just wondering. I don't even open the offers anymore.
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#2412 Post by David K o l i n » February 20th, 2014, 2:08 pm

Beau Carufel wrote:
Todd F r e n c h wrote:I'm confused...isn't pesto super easy to make?
Yea but do you write a page-long screed every time you make a batch of pest? Didn't think so!
The pesto really rocks. Maybe because I can't get enough basilly basil here up north

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#2413 Post by William P » February 20th, 2014, 2:16 pm

Just received my late winter shipment, 7 cases of assorted goodies.

In case you hadn't already seen (I know some are buried in this thread), here's some of the mystery wines revealed:
Mystery #63 - 2010 Terra di Confine
Garagiste $14.91, CellarTracker avg $16, street price $22+

Mystery #64 - 2010 Paraduxx C Blend
G $28.71, CT $33.56, street $44+

Mystery #65 - 2007 Boudreaux
G $29.81, CT $38, street $45+

Mystery #77 - 2005/6/7 Den Hoed Marie's View
G $46.71, CT $55-65, street $60+

Mystery #78 - 2009 Hacienda Monastero
G $26.91, CT $34 , street $40+

Nightlite Mystery #100 Cabernet - 2004 Den Hoed Andreas
G $48.90, CT $63, street $70+


To my knowledge all are well-regarded, with good CT notes, all are below average pricing (CT prices are Garagiste-influeced in some cases), and well below current reputable street price. I'm pretty pleased with the deals, especially the Den Hoeds, though they're definitely not as sweet as they were in the beginning (Ramey!). But, all are in my wheelhouse stylewise, so I picked my battles well. Now if they could only offer up some killer pinot...
Last edited by William P on March 3rd, 2014, 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#2414 Post by S. Reynolds » February 20th, 2014, 4:01 pm

gene keenan wrote:
S. Reynolds wrote:Tips on the process for corked wines? Just opened my first from Garagiste (2010 Chionetti Dolcetto... totally shot and foul) and sent Nicki and Melisa an email. Curious about other experiences.
As much as I don't like Garagiste Nicki was really great at crediting me for shitty bottles. Sad to hear she now required to "confer with Jon" now.
Yeah, but customer service was good in my case here. I received a positive email back from Nicki that they were going to credit my account. So, assuming that actually happens and doesn't slip through the cracks, no problems for me here.
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#2415 Post by S. Reynolds » February 20th, 2014, 4:02 pm

William P wrote:(CT prices are Garagiste-influeced in some cases)
I think it's funny when this happens--when the average pricing is exactly the Garagiste offer. Happens quite a lot with the smaller stuff they bring into the U.S.
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#2416 Post by William P » February 20th, 2014, 9:33 pm

S. Reynolds wrote:
William P wrote:(CT prices are Garagiste-influeced in some cases)
I think it's funny when this happens--when the average pricing is exactly the Garagiste offer. Happens quite a lot with the smaller stuff they bring into the U.S.
It's pretty easy to see the influence on the mystery wines. Once word gets out, lots of people change their purchases on CT from a generic entry to the actual one, and the average price plummets; I've seen it over and over again, especially when there is a decent volume of said wine already in circulation. Since I don't get my wines until long after the Seattle residents, I can only see its effect after the fact; I would be curious to see the state of a given bottle's value just BEFORE word gets out, I'm betting the value is higher than I can document.
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#2417 Post by AKuehn » March 17th, 2014, 8:11 am

Does anyone have any (hopefully somewhat reasoned) guesses as to Mystery Wine #50? I hesitate to even ask, given the plethora of "Garagiste sucks" replies an inquiry like this always seems to elicit, but dang it, I'm curious and am lousy at solving his riddles.
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#2418 Post by RichardFB » April 1st, 2014, 9:13 am

The hate on this thread for Garagiste is amusing. Sure, the guy is a hypemeister, and not everything he sells is even good. That said, he offers lots of nice solid wine at below market prices on a regular basis in a very competitive business with tight margins. No other retailer comes close to his model. The key is not getting suckered in by the hype. If you don't like $11 Cotes du Rhone, don't buy them. If you don't like mystery wines from Washington, just stay away. If you like Parkerized wines, go somewhere else. But if you are smart and disciplined, you can get nice wines at good prices, especially from Italy.
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#2419 Post by Tom Moore » April 1st, 2014, 9:35 am

I agree whole heartedly. There is a learning curve on what to bite on.

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#2420 Post by Rob Weaver » April 1st, 2014, 9:39 am

I have slowly been assembling some bottles. What is the deal on shipping? It states twice a year, spring and fall. Case minimum. I have purchased a case worth, but only 8 bottles have actually arrived. Are there rules hard and fast or can one call and arrange shipping?

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#2421 Post by doug johnson » April 1st, 2014, 11:34 am

RichardFB wrote:The hate on this thread for Garagiste is amusing. Sure, the guy is a hypemeister, and not everything he sells is even good.
I think the vitriol is because what you might call "hype" many people might call "lies". Lying to your customers is a good way to upset them!

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#2422 Post by Tom Moore » April 1st, 2014, 11:51 am

Rob Weaver wrote:I have slowly been assembling some bottles. What is the deal on shipping? It states twice a year, spring and fall. Case minimum. I have purchased a case worth, but only 8 bottles have actually arrived. Are there rules hard and fast or can one call and arrange shipping?
Yes call and tell them to hold shipping until you request. That way you can guarantee full case deliveries.

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#2423 Post by Art Rose » April 1st, 2014, 12:15 pm

It seems that a lot of the vitriol is directed toward the "mystery" wines. frankly, I have a hard time understanding why anyone would buy a wine without knowing what it was, especially if you have a difficult time parsing the hyperventilated logorrhea that accompanies the regular choices. So, stop buying them and stop complaining about them. Otherwise it does not seem all difficult to discern what one might enjoy trying from the normally overwrought descriptions.

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#2424 Post by Jim V a n P e l t » April 1st, 2014, 1:26 pm

Tom Moore wrote:I agree whole heartedly. There is a learning curve on what to bite on.
Yep. But if a person is buying some of the more esoteric stuff, with no pro reviews and little CT traction, that learning curve can be pretty expensive. In that category of Garagiste offering, I suppose I ended up batting around .500. For things I was familiar with, Garagiste was often the best place to buy it. To be honest, I would still buy a fair amount from Garagiste, old favorites and such. I assume though that some of these have been buried in emails with a "NightLite #nnn" title. I pretty much don't open any wine email that doesn't at least somewhat describe the offering in question in the title. Yeah, I understand that's a bit curmudgeonly, but there's so many emails, so little time;).

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#2425 Post by James Sanders » June 6th, 2014, 2:58 pm

Any guesses on the 10-year old (+) wine for $20 that is today's Brunello Mystery wine?

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#2426 Post by etomasi » June 6th, 2014, 3:04 pm

---
Eric Tomasi
CT: Ericindc

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#2427 Post by jbray23 » June 6th, 2014, 3:09 pm

RichardFB wrote:The hate on this thread for Garagiste is amusing. Sure, the guy is a hypemeister, and not everything he sells is even good. That said, he offers lots of nice solid wine at below market prices on a regular basis in a very competitive business with tight margins. No other retailer comes close to his model. The key is not getting suckered in by the hype. If you don't like $11 Cotes du Rhone, don't buy them. If you don't like mystery wines from Washington, just stay away. If you like Parkerized wines, go somewhere else. But if you are smart and disciplined, you can get nice wines at good prices, especially from Italy.
Two telling things from this post.... 1st, you don't know what his margins are, you also don't know how much wine he sells, unless of course you have an in. I can tell you from experience Rimmerman doesn't work on 'tight' margins, he actually does very well for himself, especially without actually having to 'carry' the inventory.

The second thing is that John made the market, he's responsible for the majority of emails you get from other on line retailers. The market wasn't competitive when he started, he had a leg up and made a lot of coin before most of these start ups began.

But you are correct, if you're smart and disciplined you can find decent deals.
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#2428 Post by PeterH » June 6th, 2014, 3:17 pm

I've been in the habit of buying an occasional mystery wine to see what Jon is up to. The last ones I brought home were a Boudreaux Cab and a Boudreaux Merlot. Not a bad deal at all, but also not directly in my wheelhouse. I think it is disrespectful both to the consumer and the wine to sell in a manner that insures many buyers will be matched with the wrong wine. Why does Jon do it that way? He could sell the Boudreaux for more if identified in the offer. The only answer I can think of is that the routine involves mixing in total stinkers that otherwise couldn't be sold at any price.

Recently I've been shut out of single bottle purchases placed within 30 minutes of the offer, which strangely had purchase limits of 48 or more bottles per customer. Obviously no great loss, but in addition to the above, Garagiste has set up a model guaranteed to piss off a great number of customers.

No guesses on the Brunello, too many possibilities.

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#2429 Post by Beau Carufel » June 6th, 2014, 3:26 pm

James Sanders wrote:Any guesses on the 10-year old (+) wine for $20 that is today's Brunello Mystery wine?
Before I could guess, my finger hit the delete button. deadhorse
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#2430 Post by Neal.Mollen » June 6th, 2014, 3:35 pm

There was a time when he ran recognizable wines with some frequency. It seems to me (and I admit I don't watch closely any longer) that the vast majority of wines he offers now are very obscure, and I am guessing he is working on a very healthy (VERY healthy) margin.
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#2431 Post by Rick Price » June 6th, 2014, 4:05 pm

I haven't made a Garagiste purchase in well over a year, but some of these offers still tempt me because of past rare successes (e.g. Ramey Larkmead.) I do agree that Mr. Rimmerman used to find actual bargains a lot more frequently a few years ago, but even a blind squirrel sometimes finds a nut. So, who has done a Brunello vertical retrospective in the past two months? I'm not exactly short of Brunello, but I am running low on older vintages, and Brunello at $20 doesn't come along every day. If I could narrow this one down I might try again... or maybe not. If I can't narrow it down, I'm certainly not going to be interested.

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#2432 Post by Jeff Wiltse » June 6th, 2014, 7:19 pm

2010 F. Rinaldi Barolo for under $50 was a buy for me. And, yes, those are wines I've heard of. Be selective.

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#2433 Post by Patrick Friel » June 6th, 2014, 10:11 pm

Jeff Wiltse wrote:2010 F. Rinaldi Barolo for under $50 was a buy for me. And, yes, those are wines I've heard of. Be selective.
Exactly. The 2011 Terra di Lavoro, 2008 Le Ragnaie Brunellos, and the 2010 Le Ragnaie Rosso in magnum (enjoyed in this wine at the winery and I think there is one retailer in the U.S. that offers it) were also buys for me in the last year. Best guess, I'm buying maybe 3% of the offers and I don't find deleting emails to be a burden.

I've enjoyed most wines I've bought from Garagiste even though I won't buy again because my tastes have changed.

Finished my last bottle of a 2009 Chiroubles (by a producer I can't even find on Wine-Searcher) with burgers tonight. It was $12.83 + maybe $2.50 shipping. Delicious.

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#2434 Post by Nate Simon » June 6th, 2014, 10:19 pm

Rob Weaver wrote:I have slowly been assembling some bottles. What is the deal on shipping? It states twice a year, spring and fall. Case minimum. I have purchased a case worth, but only 8 bottles have actually arrived. Are there rules hard and fast or can one call and arrange shipping?
They have well-established policies regarding shipping.
1. They ship wines twice a year, except when they feel like doing something different.
2. The shipments will consist mostly of wines you ordered. However, any given shipment may not contain all the wines you ordered.
3. They may, at their discretion, not send you wines you had ordered and paid for, substituting wines you never ordered, have never heard of, but were charged for anyway.
4. Items ordered before their arrival in the US will probably be shipped to you within two years of when you ordered them.
Simple enough, yes?

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#2435 Post by Alan Newman » June 6th, 2014, 10:31 pm

I ordered a case of the Mystery wine. Aged Brunello for $20 + shipping- hard to go wrong.

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#2436 Post by Andrew W. » June 6th, 2014, 10:33 pm

Finally removed myself from the list after 7 years, I do give him a lot of credit to getting me into wine and exposing me to a lot of new wines.
A. 'Wy.man'

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#2437 Post by dsGriswold » June 6th, 2014, 11:39 pm

Nate Simon wrote:
Rob Weaver wrote:I have slowly been assembling some bottles. What is the deal on shipping? It states twice a year, spring and fall. Case minimum. I have purchased a case worth, but only 8 bottles have actually arrived. Are there rules hard and fast or can one call and arrange shipping?
They have well-established policies regarding shipping.
1. They ship wines twice a year, except when they feel like doing something different.
2. The shipments will consist mostly of wines you ordered. However, any given shipment may not contain all the wines you ordered.
3. They may, at their discretion, not send you wines you had ordered and paid for, substituting wines you never ordered, have never heard of, but were charged for anyway.
4. Items ordered before their arrival in the US will probably be shipped to you within two years of when you ordered them.
Simple enough, yes?
After two years wait on a couple of el Carbonaire, they subbed after asking, for a vintage they could no longer get, I picked up on a trip through town. They dropped me from the list and I did not complain.
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#2438 Post by craig v » June 7th, 2014, 7:22 am

I like that they offer some cool stuff like the 2012 Garnier Chablis for $17 I got from them but,
1. I can't stand reading through the long,over hyped narratives. I called them and said they should offer a cliff notes version of their offers for guys like me and that they should put the wine name in the heading. That fell on depth ears. 2. I don't like having to login to find out if my wines have arrived. 3. I like just calling stores with questions and status of pre-arrivals. These guys are harder to reach via a simple phone call. I prefer stores sending me a notice saying they're in and they don't do that. I think this site is great for people looking for someone to guide them in their wine purchases but I find it cumbersome and dropped off.
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#2439 Post by Kris Patten » June 7th, 2014, 9:15 pm

Alan Newman wrote:I ordered a case of the Mystery wine. Aged Brunello for $20 + shipping- hard to go wrong.
In on Brunello too. Great deal.....can't wait to see label.
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#2440 Post by Jim Stevens » June 9th, 2014, 3:23 pm

Jeff Wiltse wrote:2010 F. Rinaldi Barolo for under $50 was a buy for me. And, yes, those are wines I've heard of. Be selective.
Yep, I did that one too.

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#2441 Post by Joe G a l e w s k i » June 9th, 2014, 4:14 pm

craig v wrote:I like that they offer some cool stuff like the 2012 Garnier Chablis for $17 I got from them but,
1. I can't stand reading through the long,over hyped narratives. I called them and said they should offer a cliff notes version of their offers for guys like me and that they should put the wine name in the heading. That fell on depth ears. 2. I don't like having to login to find out if my wines have arrived. 3. I like just calling stores with questions and status of pre-arrivals. These guys are harder to reach via a simple phone call. I prefer stores sending me a notice saying they're in and they don't do that. I think this site is great for people looking for someone to guide them in their wine purchases but I find it cumbersome and dropped off.
I actually like the narratives. Rather, I get a kick out of seeing how much BS he can pile on top of BS, all for a $14.71 wine I've never heard of that is probably very average. And the flowery words, metaphors, colorful language about stuff that has nothing to do with the wine. I think it's a blast.

It's their customer service that made me unsubscribe and never want to do business with them again. Their wines typically arrive in America significantly after they say they will. Then trying to get your wine from them is a major hassle. They had a wine of mine ready to ship last fall but said they were busy shipping other orders and never got a chance to ship mine. For the whole fall shipping season??!! I told them to ship it this spring and it took them several weeks to do so. I buy too much wine already, I don't need their shenanigans.

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#2442 Post by Mont Stern » June 9th, 2014, 5:17 pm

doug johnson wrote:
RichardFB wrote:The hate on this thread for Garagiste is amusing. Sure, the guy is a hypemeister, and not everything he sells is even good.
I think the vitriol is because what you might call "hype" many people might call "lies". Lying to your customers is a good way to upset them!
+1
Even the $20 Brunello didn't get me to bite.

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#2443 Post by PeterH » June 9th, 2014, 5:42 pm

A couple of the recent Mystery wines for reference.

Mystery 2 Cabernet $19.99 Conviction South Africa
Mystery WA bordoux Blend $16.98 Waters Interlude
Mystery WA Race Car $39.98 Dunham Lewis Vineyard Merlot

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P Hickner

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#2444 Post by Adam G » June 9th, 2014, 10:19 pm

I've got a more Zen attitude towards these guys. If I don't want to read the email, well then I just scroll down to the bolded line(s) which contain the wine and price. Simple.
I don't care when the wine arrives. I have plenty to drink in the meantime. Actually, when I asked if they would hold on to a couple cases that were ready for shipping, they happily did so until the end of the SoCal window.
I've found some of the wines to be totally average, while others were excellent. None were total duds for the price.
A. Gr0ssm@n

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#2445 Post by Jordan Posell » June 9th, 2014, 10:28 pm

I'm pretty much with Adam on this. Have had some really great QPRs from Garagiste of late. Yes, some stinkers here and there, but that is part of the exploration. If you don't want to read or buy, just get off the list or don't open them...

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#2446 Post by dsGriswold » June 10th, 2014, 12:45 am

Good advice which I have applied. Drinking a good and cheap Garagiste Vac now that needs another couple of years. But I would rather be drinking an OR Pinot which I can buy locally & no wait. We are very fortunate here. Others may be less so and need to buy online. I have noticed other online stores engage in similar verbosity, but at least deliver on time and sell fewer stinkers.
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#2447 Post by Jay $$ Winton » June 10th, 2014, 5:13 am

I dropped the emails. I've been a customer for a long time but a recent exchange with them over a CS issue-not even worthy of discussion-finally made me pull the plug. Just not the retailer it once was. Good night and good luck.
Immaturity-my life, not my wine.

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#2448 Post by AKuehn » June 10th, 2014, 5:15 pm

And I still buy. They aren't my go-to retailer, but I've had good luck with carefully selected mystery wines, mystery cases, and open-view offers that appealed to me. The other 98% I just delete. Their storage is impeccable, which they do for free, and they give you the option once the wines are in to specify the precise timing of shipping. I feel like I'm coming out ahead, and that's really the long and short of it.
-Adam

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#2449 Post by Beau Carufel » June 10th, 2014, 9:00 pm

For most of the sub-$15 wines I've bought, I've been extremely happy. Above $40-50 and it can get dicey for me, some successes and some utter failures. That said getting 02 Dom P at $113 was pretty rad.
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#2450 Post by alan weinberg » June 11th, 2014, 7:28 am

I buy just the occasional foodstuff and less than I used to--the mustards aren't that great and the value there is lacking, but the Moroccan olive oil is very good. The wines and their hype turn me off and I find myself deleting even before I finish reading about "better than La Tache and only $12 . . ."

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