Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Taken to Cask

Evidently there's tone deaf and then there's Bernard Rosenson. For last night I received an email which says the following:

Join us for fabulous wine tasting at Wine Cask of Calabasas - every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
4 - 7 pm
This week: (February 26th, 27th, 28th)
"Titans of Santa Barbara" Part I
Featuring:
Ojai Vineyard
The wines of Jim Clendenon
The wines of Fred Brander

Look, you don't close up a shop/restaurant that's been part of a town's community for over 40 years without warning, then not even mention that you've done so or make any public statement about the closing, and then keep using your email list like nothing's happened. First, you owe your customers some explanation. And it's not that I feel entitled to something since I've been thrilled to be able to be a Wine Cask shopper for years. I'm on record as calling the annual wine futures program "Christmas, Opening Day, and the world’s best President’s Day Sale wrapped up into one for lovers of the grape." Just from a business standpoint you need to explain, for why should anyone trust you at this point? I received an email from the Wine Cask mere days before they closed without warning trying to convince me to attend upcoming events at the now totally vacated Santa Barbara location.

Second, Wine Cask of Calabasas? For non-Santa Barbarans, that would be like someone starting a Rainbow Room of Poughkeepsie or an Old Bookbinder's of Camden or a Berghoff of Moline or a Locke Ober of Worcester (yeah, I know, two of those places don't really exist right now, but the world is poorer for it).

Third, if you're going to push tastings featuring the "Titans of Santa Barbara" (what, no Titans of Calabasas?), spell the titan's names correctly. That's Clendenen. After all, it's not like Jim Clendenen and his Au Bon Climat wines helped put Santa Barbara on the wine map in the first place.

When you run something like a wine shop, even more important than your inventory is your smarts. People need to know you know something, that you care about the wine, that you drink the wine, that you chat with the winemakers. If we want to buy wine from a business, there's always Von's.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could always drive down to Calabasas and demand an explanation...

11:51 AM  
Blogger Cookie Jill said...

Glad I'm not the only one who "cringed" when they received this "non-designed" email.

12:11 PM  
Anonymous wineguy said...

[Sigh] Yeah...I got that one, too.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

They were always a snooty lot anyway. It is just what I'd expect....

7:40 AM  

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