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June 08, 2009


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Wayne Young

I agree with you in theory, that shooting out a new bottle to the consumer might have constituted "cheap marketing" in the short run, but there are 2 flaws in the idea:

First and foremost, especially with the spread of information at the speed of light via internet, once the word got out that Ch. Julien was replacing bad bottles for free, they would get about 100 requests to replace bottles, many from people who may not know exactly what the wine should taste like in the first place.

Which leads me to my second point which is, if you can only describe a defect as "rank", (as opposed to "corked" or something a little less subjective), there is a good chance that you simply DIDN'T LIKE the wine, and there's no sense in replacing it with another, equally "rank" bottle of perfectly fine wine.

Mike Duffy

Thanks for commenting, Wayne.

Have you actually experienced the above (replace one, get a slew of requests) at Bastianich?

I suppose there will always be people who take advantage of the situation. It all depends on how you want to look at the world.

I daresay that there are a lot of "normal" people who don't know the term "corked." Hard to believe, but true. This was a gift, so the recipient may very well not drink a lot of wine.

Perhaps I was just offended by the original blog post, which seemed scornful and actually named the person involved. Certainly not good public relations for Ch. Julien (IMHO).


First, that's a classless post by them. Someone has a poor experience with their product and the make fun of him? in PUBLIC?? Idiots.

Second, it won't get around that fast and you don't need to honor everyone who says they got a bad bottle... but doing it for this guy in private would have been good. But I know there's no way I'll buy their wine and I bet he won't either.

Wayne Young

@Mike: We occasionally DO replace bad bottles, and, in short, no, we have not had a slew of returns once the word "gets out". That said, your point is valid. If they had popped a new bottle in the mail, what would it have mattered, right? Keep it quiet and hope you've made a friend.

@rick: Maybe you're right about the word not sprading that fast ,but it's always better to make a policy and stick with it. Start replacing bottles only for CERTAIN customers, and others start feeling discriminated.


Here's my ha'penny's (2 cents) worth, as a wine producer.
Firstly, I'd like to think that I'd never ever make a post like that. If thousands of people are reading you, you have to be very careful what you write, because not everyone has the same sense of humour as you and in fact some people might not only not see your humour but could take offence or even feel insulted. (Speaking from experience here!)
Secondly, even though I've never had a complaint or bottle of wine returned (yet!), I think that when it does happen, I'd replace it with another one - no questions asked! Not cheap marketing, just honesty and fair play.
Bottom line, it was a bad idea to publish that post, if only because some people (actual or possible customers) are now not going to buy wine from them, because they didn't like the 'humour'. No amount of explanations is going to bring them back.

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