Russell Brown influences alcohol.

Russell Brown is one of the most read bloggers in New Zealand; intelligent, informed and always interesting he added the following note to a blog post about voter turnout in Iraq.

"The other evening I felt the need for a cool glass of wine. I was passing the Pt Chev Liquor Centre -- our local tag-strewn hole in the wall -- so I stopped and bought a bottle.

Yes, it was a bin-end special ($14.99), and it was a 2006 sav blanc -- you're certainly risking the zip having faded there. But it was worse than that. The wine was gone: an overpowering boiled-asparagus reek overpowered anything on the palate. It was undrinkable.

So I put the cap back on the bottle, retrieved the receipt and the original bag, and took it back the next day.

I think I was being reasonable: I wasn't demanding cash back, although I didn't want to risk another bottle of the same wine. I'd top up the credit and get something I knew would be fit for purpose.

They wouldn't consider it: on the basis that (wait for it) the bottle had been opened. They were not able to explain to me how I could tell the product had gone off without opening it to check. I pointed out to them that this was bullshit, but they were unmoved.

So I left, pointing out to them that they'd lost a customer. I feel bound also to warn you, dear reader, off the Pt Chev Liquor Centre. They are knowingly selling spoiled wine and refusing to make good on it. That's a bit like stealing from your customers."

My guess is that much of Mr Brown's constituency resides in the catchment of the Pt Chevalier Liquor Centre - a liberal Auckland suburb in the process of gentrification. They will undoubtedly heed his advice, as indeed they should. Some, like me will repost his comments to a secondary network not nearly as large as that of I don't agree with everything Brown says (and sometimes I don't like how he says it), but I don't like the idea of being robbed by a liquor store either (or any other for that matter).


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