A note from Neal, Master of Adventure —
Too often we judge things or people by how they look. The same can be said for experiences. Twice in our wine travels we have experienced ourselves being judged as well as once seeing another person being unfairly judged. When we go to a tasting at a winery, we want to be afforded the same attention as everyone else does. We would like to feel welcome and appreciated. It doesn’t always happen.
First impressions might be the last impression a winery gets from a visitor.
The first experience was at a very large and popular winery off the Interstate near Salem. We were headed to the airport for a trip back east, but had some time to try a new place. It looked pretty impressive from the highway, much like the big wineries in Napa and Sonoma.
We entered and headed to the bar which was not overly crowded. We were asked if we wanted the free tasting or the reserve flight. Due to time constraints we went for the free tasting. We didn’t get the warm fuzzy response we hoped for as first time visitors. There wasn’t any small talk or interaction. We noticed other people who seemed to be club members chatting away with the staff while it seemed like we were invisible.
We had our first taste and the server never came back. After 10 or 15 minutes we decided to leave. We did not have a good taste in our mouth after that visit. We were dressed appropriately, were not loud or unruly. We have not been back.
Our second “dismiss“ was at a local winery outside of Eugene that had recently opened with new ownership. A great view and from what we were told, great wine. What’s not to like about those two items??
My wife Alyse was chatting with the owner of the winery and asked him a question. She didn’t know the meaning of a term on the label of a bottle and asked what it meant. The owner said, “you must not drink very much wine,“ rolling his eyes. Did he know how much wine we have at home or how many bottle we might have bought? I think not!
This was not good experience at all. We hadn’t been back there in three years. We’ll talk about our next experience there in a future post called “Winery ReDoux” A second chance glass.
Please share with us your positive and negative experiences. We want every experience to be worthy of 5 full glasses!!!!