Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Zachys Wine and The Case of the Twice-Trounced Troglodyte.

This is beyond Perry Mason's skillset.

Once upon a time there was a store called Zachys.  It's a wine and liquor store north of New York City.  It also has an auction business with a warehouse here in North Hollywood. They must be doing something right.  For other people.

Last April I posted "The snootiest wine store ever." It was about my unfortunate visit to Zachys.  But the truth is, I've done retail, there are bad days.  Ultimately I had to be fair and concede that as successful and renowned as Zachys is, I simply may have walked into one of their bad days. 

Mid October I'd received a Fall catalog in the mail from Zachys, and this is the story of what happened next.

Mat Kramer once wrote, "If you love wine and you’re buying anything decent—let’s say any wine that costs $20 or more—you need to know that the odds are extremely good that the wine you’re buying today will taste better, and be more rewarding to you, if you stick it in a cool space for a year or even five or 10 years."

I perused my budget, took heed, and did that.  I discovered one little glitch.  You go out, you buy all the wine you need for a year or two, you put it into your very affordable locker at The Cave Wine Storage...and then now what do you drink for two years while that stuff is incubating?

This is actually a very good glitch, it imposes a bit of strategy in your collecting, and as part of that strategy I needed more wine. 

After work I cozied up with the Zachys Fall catalog and discovered they carried a good amount of 2010 Bordeaux in the $20, 90+/- point range.  It was very intriguing and I was curious and then I put the catalog aside.  Two days later I was still thinking about it and decided to go for it. Like an excited little punk I honed my list to twelve wines mostly from Bordeaux but also from Italy, and other places I've forgotten.  I put the order in and opted the 3-5 day ground shipping.  This would be perfect!  Monday and Tuesday we're closed so I'd get it right in the window of business.  Also, the weather that week was amicable to shipping. 
Look what I got TODAY, 19 days and two heat waves later. Not Awesome.

To get this package to The Cave took:
seven phone calls
twelve people
four emails
and enough soft-porn hold music to cause the deep desire to gauge out my earholes.

Everyone was "so sorry" constantly except in a way that actually got the package here.  Thirteen times (including the original shipping label) I clarified The Cave business hours (Wednesday through Sunday, 2 -7 pm.) and after each time the package was delivered to The Cave promptly at 9 a.m. only to be returned to the truck and bake another day. 

At one point I attempted the strategy of appealing to Zachys.  If your shipping company can't function, why would I continue to do business with you?  They initially intervened and the delivery came at 9 a.m.  They then stated Fed Ex doesn't deliver during specific hours - which turns out is not the case, something I both checked into in advance and verified again today. Finally they suggested I just go get the wine. 

Zachy's, what gives? Why are you so difficult?  Also, please remove me from your mailing list.

PS.  Our UPS guy ... is awesome.  He comes to Glendale earlier in the day, but if we have a package he circles around again and we are his last delivery of the day. He has a wife and young daughter.  His wife likes Zinfandel but he's still looking for his niche, though he liked the Scotch I got him.  I'll try a few beers on him, next, but a nice Zin for him and his wife for the holidays.

See what you're missing, JerkFedEx?