The post is long overdue. It is about a great wine store but not any wine store this is Wine Authorities in Durham, NC. Seth (aka Salamanzar) and Craig (aka grand poobah) are the owners, write a blog, and can be found behind the counter and ready to help you make the best selection.
The kicker about my love of this place is that it happened in just one visit! Let me explain…
A colleague and I needed a gift (Port) for a co-worker and did not know where to go. Kolu, our office manager, suggested Wine Authorities. Now on first hearing the name I said o.k. sounds like a normal wine shop. So, what happened that makes this place so great? Well, it was not one thing but the total experience and a hidden need that I did not know I had.
First, Criag greated us as we entered the store. he must have seen the desperation on our face when looking at the stores vast selection. He offered to help and walked us to the small Port selection. He explained each option and a little story behind the bottle. We bought two bottles and Craig’s obsevant nature latched on to the fact this was a gift and as he rang up the bill he almost un scripted started wrapping them in a special bag with a bow. Simply, great service. (I know as one of my areas of expertise in service marketing.)
Second, as Craig was at the register he asked if this was our first time at the store and proceeded to ask if we would like to be entered into the system. Now if he stopped here, you might ask what is so special, but he didn’t. He explained that on their website I would be able to enter my email address and see the ports that I had just purchased with a picture of the label. I can keep notes on how I liked them or rate them if I like. I would have never expected this type of value from a relatively small wine store.
Lastly, Seth and Craig have embraced customer marketing with a furvor. They understand there value is not only selling great wine, but it is the fact they are “sherpas” for the wine experience. To that effort they have an email newsletter and blog that I have just started to take advantage of in my quest for great wines.