Monday, February 18, 2008
Medieval online shopping
Why is the wine world so old-fashioned in Europe? I read a US-based wine-related bulletin board, as some may know. So I see a lot of what's flowing through the pulse of American wine drinkers and oenophiles. Something that struck me a few weeks back was a sudden gush of enthusiasm for champagne flutes from the Austrian glassworks Zalto.
Revolutionary! I read. Incredible! They make the champagne in the glass come to some new, epiphanic life!
I resisted, but the news just kept growing; the champagne glass, crushed in a mash of mash-letters, was becoming irresistible. With one problem: it had found an American importer. Not a French one.
So, hardy soul that I am, I went straight (after a number of fruitless searches) to Zalto's website and ordered a pair of champagne flutes. Only at the final stage of the online ordering process, I discovered a break in the chain of digital modern shopping: I was now supposed to write a check and mail it to the company in Austria.
After scratching my head, shaking my fist, and finally laughing, I studiously wrote out a check, a cover letter and the next day, went to the post office to procure the appropriate stamp.
Two weeks later, I have now received an e-mail: apparently, Zalto was unaware of the bank fees associated with drawing funds via check from a French bank. Now they want a wire transfer.
Back to the drawing board.
In the meantime, with each passing champagne, I feel I am missing out on Elysium!