Spin the Globe with Justin Butner

A world citizen may provide value to society by using knowledge acquired across cultural contexts.

Open Letter to Proprietor of Winery That Hates Me

Written 26 August

And yes, I am fully intending to send this.

Dear Proprietor,

They say that if you want someone to actually listen to a criticism, it should be sandwiched between two compliments.

So let me start by saying you make some really great wines.

Allow me to continue by saying that while they are great, and the prices are not astronomical, the prices are simply higher than I am willing to pay for the quality of the product. I don’t think they are unreasonably priced. However, I am living on a budget and my purchasing is limited to things that are less expensive or are of great value. Your wines are, per bottle, greater than my daily allowance for food, accommodation, and entertainment combined. Please do not take my lack of purchase as a statement on your wines. It is a statement on the intersection of price, quality, and centrality to my life.

That all said, you were in the wrong to say the things that you did.

I am not some cheapskate sneaking in for a free tasting on your dime with no intention of purchasing. You’ve set up a free tasting to entice people to come in. It worked. I came in with an open mind willing to purchase if the equation was correct. It wasn’t. If you want to institute a policy of charging for tastings, that is your choice as a businessman. Both policies have pros and cons, and it is up to you to weigh them and decide. Don’t attempt to put on me the change in business policy, as you have no right to be upset that someone took your offer for a free tasting and didn’t decide that the price was right to buy.

You refused to believe me when I told you that I had purchased wines from some of the tastings I had attended. It is not my prerogative to try to convince you, but I assure you that I have a bottle of wine in my trunk from the tasting I attended two wineries back. The last winery seemed to have the same issue with me not purchasing, but their wines were entirely lackluster and didn’t merit the prices they were charging to anyone.

Ending a business interaction with, “I figured, you bastard,” is hardly professional or useful in any way. If you didn’t think I was going to buy something from the second I walked in, I’m confused that you served me. If you did serve me, then why still spill the vitriol?

I’m legitimately confused by your statement of, “You people are all the same.” Mainly, I’m confused as to which group you are lumping me as “you people.” Americans? Travelers? Foreigners? Guys in tee shirts? Guys with long hair? White males aged 18 to 35? I really have no idea what aspect of my existence offended you so, but I can truly say that I have never been called “you people” before. Please be more clear in your hate-filled speech next time to aid in communicating your point.

I wasn’t lying when I said I was impressed by your wines. And I certainly wasn’t lying about the fact that I have friends down in Victoria and South Australia who would likely love your wines and to whom I would recommend your winery. They are established, have steady jobs, paychecks, and purchase wines. But I can assure you that due to your conduct and your easy dismissal of my attendance, the name of your winery will not leave my lips or my fingers again. You are a spiteful person, and your need to burn the chance of a bridge that you had gained by giving me free wine has ensured that I will not give any recommendations.

In the future, I might suggest you either burn your bridges before you invest anything into them, or bite your tongue in the hopes that some of your time, energy, and money was put to good use. As it stands, you’ve managed to waste everything.

Again, if you must be hateful, be clear in your hate. But largely I would recommend not being such a bitter, angry, and judging person. I have been in your country for nine months now and have only run into two hateful Aussies who did not appear to be schizophrenic. You have single-handedly doubled the number of truly horrible personal interactions I’ve had with residents. My abilities to tell the world just how amazing and friendly and open people are here – and thus help increase tourism, and possibly, your bottom line – has been diminished. You are truly doing a disservice not only to yourself but to your countrymen.

In closing, you make good wine.


A Representative of The Solemn Nation of You People

One comment on “Open Letter to Proprietor of Winery That Hates Me

  1. Bob
    September 11, 2012

    Well what winery was it?!

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This entry was posted on September 7, 2012 by in Australia, Queensland (Brisbane).

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