Counter Intelligence

In my travels to various wineries in Ontario, I started to notice that when I left some tasting rooms, I left with an uneasy feeling. I couldn’t pin it down.

Then after one especially bad encounter at a winery, I asked my wife if she had noticed anything weird about the experience. We discussed several factors but there was only one that we thought might have been the source: the height of the tasting room counter. It had made us feel like we were at the front desk of the local precinct, with the “desk officer” 2-3 feet taller than ourselves. And the people on the other side of the counter had a parochial attitude that was reminiscent of visiting the principal’s office (not that I ever spent any time there :-)).

I started to pay attention to my winery experiences and I noticed that ones with low tasting counters or wooden tables resulted in an overall “warmer” and more welcoming experience for me, and those with the very high tasting counters left me feeling less engaged.

Is your tasting counter saying more than you think?

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2 Responses to Counter Intelligence

  1. OntarioWines says:

    Interesting! I have been to just about every winery on ON and can think back to one of very few bad experiences. One this summer, which I would classify as unpleasant for several other reasons, in fact had a very high tasting counter! I think you are on to something!
    For the record the other factors that made this a very unpleasant experience:
    – They barked the tasting fees in our face as soon as we walked into the door
    – Tasting was inside the tank area, which should have been fun, but there was a backed up floor drain right beside us which smelled of a sewer, and it was impossible to enjoy the samples
    – Only two wines open for tasting (out of many they have)
    – They almost wanted a guarantee of purchase when I asked if they’d pour others
    – Counter staff unable to answer even the simplest questions about the wine tehy poured

    Thankfuly this is the exception not the norm.

  2. Pingback: Taste T.O. – Food & Drink In Toronto » Bottoms Up! – Thursday, April 21st, 2011

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