Storyteller Wine Co.
1. What exactly are you?
We are a retail wine store located in Portland, Oregon. But we are hardly “traditional.” We are open to the public on Friday and Saturday, so yes, in a sense we are a “brick and mortar”store with windows, doors, wine bar, bathrooms and everything! The rest of the week we are hunting down new wines, new wineries and superb deals that are being offered up by one of the many high quality distributors and/or importers here in Portland. Those wines are presented in our electronic newsletter, which goes out 2-3 times a week. Many of these wines are made in small quantities and are in high demand, or they are being offered by an importer/distributor at a special “limited time only” price. Sometimes we have to act fast (and so will you) to get a shot at these wines. Hence the electronic newsletter coming your way 2-3 times a week. You may only end up purchasing wines from 1 out of every 10 newsletters but we’ll strive to make it an informative, entertaining and frequently irreverent read. In that sense we are like a vinous version of pirate radio, bravely beaming out our transmission in the hopes that somebody out there is crazy enough to appreciate it.
2. So what goes on at your storefront?
On Friday evenings and during the day on Saturday we are opened to the public. If you drop by the store you can taste a lineup of wines we have open that day and chat with us (or the actual winemaker) about the wines. The wines you taste will be available for sale and you may take them home with you that very day. The rest of the week? If any of the Storyteller staff is in the store the door will be open. If the lights are on, come on in. We’re never to busy to sell folks wine. Or if you’d like a guarantee we will be here when you arrive on days other than Friday or Saturday, just call the store to make an appointment. For your selection we keep a core group of wines in-stock that we call “Smart Bottles” These wines are in good supply and you can purchase them any time. Check out a current sampling of Smart Bottles on the “Buy Wine” page.
3. Why should I buy wine from you?
We try very hard to find good wines that may be difficult to get your hands on in your neck of the woods. And we have very low overhead, so I bet you’ll like our pricing structure. The overhead is so low in fact that most of the staff around here walks with a stoop. And most of the staff are wine fanatic friends of the store who think the retail wine life is sexy and exciting. Which means they are just foolish enough to work for wine and the occasional signed wine poster.* Did I mention low overhead?
4. How do we place an order? How do we pay you? Why isn’t there a shopping cart on your
If you see something you like on our website or in the newsletter, merely email back or call us toll free and say “hey, I want a bunch of bottles of that wine who’s story made me cry and/or laugh.” We have to call you to talk about shipping anyway, so we figured we might as well collect credit card information by phone as well while we were at it. That way we get to talk to you. Which is always nice. And you get to talk to a human being, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not a wine is in stock, whether you hit the “submit” button twice, whether the wine will get automatically shipped in 100 degree F. temperatures (computers are really bad at detecting severe heat or extreme cold outside) or any of the other hassles of buying via an online shopping cart. Plus we use Cone of Silence technology perfected in the Get Smart laboratories when we call you so you can rest assured that no cyber crook is lifting your credit card numbers from your computer or ours. And encrypted on-line shopping carts are really expensive. Which would mean we would have to charge you more for wine. Did I mention low overhead?
5. How do I get my wine?
Easy. If you live in the Portland area just drop by and pick it up at the store. You can even taste wines while you are there! If you live outside the Portland area we will ship it to you. We will charge you for the cost of the shipper and whatever UPS charges us to get it to you. We will not make one penny of profit from shipping. We will try to use pristine re-cycled shippers when we have them and in that case you won’t be charged for the shipper. If we are out of free shippers you may choose between shippers with recycled materials or traditional styrofoam shippers. We’d be happy to discuss the financial, environmental and thermodynamic advantages and disadvantages of each type of shipper when we talk with you on the phone about your order. That sounds exciting, no?
We don’t have a flat shipping rate or a standard rate list for regions of the country to post here. If you live in California why should you pay as much for getting wine from us as a person in North Dakota is? Once you tell us you are interested in ordering from us we will crank up the hamster that runs our UPS calculator and we will tell you exactly how much it will cost to get the wine to you.
And now a word from our attorney: all alcoholic beverages are deemed to be sold in Oregon and title passes to the buyer in the State of Oregon. We make no representation to the legal rights of anyone to ship or import wines into any state outside of the State of Oregon. When Storyteller Wine Company ships wine we will require a signature from an adult over the age of 21 in order to receive the wine. If wine is returned to us because there was no one there to sign for it the recipient will be charged for return shipping costs. To avoid playing tag with the UPS man we urge you to consider having your wine shipped to your business address if possible.
6. Speaking of legalese, what is your return policy?
Our policy is simple. If we sell you a wine that is flawed in any way, you get your money back.
7. Who created that logo with the bottle with the big honkin’ lips?
The Storyteller Wine Company logo was created by the legendary David Lance Goines. David is an Oregon boy who migrated to San Francisco in order to attend the University of California at Berkeley in the 1960s. He quickly found himself embroiled in the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and eventually succumbed to the siren song of printing and art. Not to mention being a pretty important part of Alice Waters’ life and the early scene of what would eventually evolve into Chez Panisse. I have been a huge fan of his work since I saw my first David Lance Goines litho poster while walking past the window of an art gallery in SF. After reading his book on the Berkeley FSM I was an even bigger fan. So when I asked him to design our logo I was quite literally blown away when he actually agreed. Heck, I would have been thrilled with a rejection letter. I mean, here’s a guy who has designed everything from the Ravenswood wine label and Chez Panisse artwork to posters for City Lights bookstore and the Berkeley VD Clinic. To say we are honored to have his work act as our logo would be a huge understatement.
8. What about private tastings or wine classes?
We are in favor of them. We like to think of Storyteller Wine Company as a clubhouse for adults, a nice place to hang out, taste wine and talk with friends. If you would like to arrange for a private wine tasting event please call us at the store and we’d be happy to help you make the arrangements. Do you have a favorite West Coast winery? Perhaps we could even arrange a private event with the winemaker. No event is too small or too big for us to consider, so ask away.
* If the agents of any government regulatory agency are reading this, it is what many people refer to as “a joke.”
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