To respond to the unanswered questions below, or to ask a reader's advice, simply e-mail:
Q Why do so many customers refer to a "crate" rather than a "case" of wine? Is there a technical difference between the two terms?
A I was always taught
beer comes in crates and wine in cases.
a more important
question regarding the packaging of wines
use of the word "case". Where wine is sold by the case, weights and measures legislation would suggest
the buyer has a legal right to know how much product
they can expect to receive. If I
buy a firkin of beer, I expect it to contain
If I buy a case of wine, I expect
12 bottles (or 24 halves). Increasingly, I get only six. A cardboard box with a capacity of six bottles (or 12 halves) is a "carton".
Q I had a customer who was convinced
LBV port is superior to vintage. I can see why: it sounds more impressive. It pained me to put him straight and he took some convincing. Anyone else ever find themselves in a similar position, and how did you correct a misconception without appearing condescending
A Explain that any name that begins with the word "late" invariably indicates a product, or person, not quite at the height of their powers .
A Explaining the intricacies of port production, ageing and legislation is notoriously difficult. That's why I would say "don't bother". Your customer is happy with LBV, just as I have dozens who love their Liebfraumilch. I could try to upsell them to fine Rhine Rieslings, but they don't have the appetite, or the budget, for such excursions.
Q I have (apparently) started saying "please enter your PIN" while I'm asleep. Am I working too hard?
A Probably. And it sounds as though you may require acupuncture ...
Should I leave the dust on my bottles of fine claret and Burgundy to add to their mystique
CR, East Sussex
Q Would a realistic-looking panic button on my counter deter potential robbers?