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Posts Tagged ‘Free Range Wine & Spirits’

Back together again, for the first time…

October 25, 2020 Leave a comment

Howdy Free Rangers,

Since the onset of the zombie apocalypse, when in-store tastings instantly became a thing of the past, we’ve been pondering other kinds of events, and promotions; hence the weekly e-mail sales. But I don’t Zoom well. I’m not even good on the phone. And setting aside an hour during prime sales floor time, toward such an endeavor, seems like a recipe for disaster. And since it remains illegal for retailers to pour anything outside the physical confines of their licensed addresses, we really haven’t come up with much else. It’s all we can do to maintain proper order when more than 4 people are trying to get into the shop at once. Speaking of which, we know that waiting outside the shop to get in is no fun, and we do our best to hurry through the “just looking” folks who ignore the sign on the front door, specifically asking them not to do this. As always, your patience and support is greatly appreciated. But if you come across a gaggle of tourists in here, taking up as much space as possible, and clearly not buying anything, please feel free to yell at them, if you get to them before I do. It takes a village to shame its idiot(s).

We now take you back to the last of the golden age of Manhattan’s East Village. Tonic was the best little music venue in New York, and just a skip down Rivington was a fabulous little Italian joint with a small number of tables, a long line outside, and a deep selection of properly aged Italian wine. ‘inoteca be thy name, and I loved that little spot. Many nights when the wait for a table was over an hour, a solo flier could still sneak into one of the tall stools at the back bar, where you’d sit in nose-shot of the day’s cheese selections. It was a wonderful little corner of calm amongst the chaotic throb of that rhythmic neighborhood, to enjoy some bruschetta and a seventeen year old Valpolicella. While ‘inoteca has been gone from Rivington for some time, there is now a Brooklyn-based ‘inoteca pop-up offering family style multi course Italian meals for pick-up or delivery in two sizes, on Wednesdays, at the moment (à la carte items are also available). Check out the details here: ‘inoteca pop-up. We’ve also put together a page of wine pairings, if you’d like to have them delivered with your dinner: Free Range ‘inoteca wine pairings.

Now, for your weekly flash sale… It seems not terribly long ago that we offered a sale on Suntory Yamazaki 12yr– the most classic of all Japanese Whisky- but it was one of our most popular, and more cases than we’ve seen in years just walked through the door (and I had already hoarded up a good bit). So, we’ve got 3 cases of Yamazaki 12 to sell at our lowest price of the year on this classic single malt whiskey.

 (!) CLICK HERE to add Yamazaki 12 to your cart w/ coupon code (!)

Yamazaki 12
sale: $115                                    retail: $135

*** This week only, as supplies last! ***
* No other discounts apply.

Cheers,

Jack
Proprietor
Free Range Wine & Spirits

Life During Wartime

March 25, 2020 Leave a comment

This is the e-mail that went out to our Free Range e-mail list 3/23/2020 (links in this one were included in the the original e-mail), after which we’re officially caught up and Free Range e-mail blasts will be posted here, shortly after going out to our shop subscribers:

Hello Free Rangers,

On my tougher days I try to remind myself that, unlike a lot of people in the world, I didn’t wake up this morning in a war zone, or in a region on fire, or completely displaced from everything I’ve ever known. There have been a lot of days like this recently.

All told (tolled?), I am well aware that I am one of the lucky ones. While so many people are out of work and/or losing their businesses, we continue to thrive (gratefully!) amongst this wonderful neighborhood that helped us get off the ground seven years ago. I’m saying this now, as a few people have asked if they could buy gift certificates from us, seemingly to help infuse cash now for future products, rather than for gift giving. It warms our hearts to know that many of you feel this way about us, but having been deemed a necessary business, we’ve been able to stay open, and are doing quite well, by our own historical standards. And just to reiterate, while we are closed today through Wednesday, we will be open Thursday through Sunday 1-6pm (at the very least). Rest assured, everyone who works here will continue to be paid their usual full-shift amounts, regardless of hours worked, besides Derek, who will get a sizeable overtime check for his many hours of invaluable service this week.

Many local businesses are not fairing so well. Our buddy, Kareem, next door at Absolute Coffee is staying open, for take-out only. He is a hard-working, highly moral, multi-lingual immigrant just trying to live the dream, and his landlord seems uninterested in helping at all through the current crisis. So, if you need to stretch your legs, without straying too far from home, please go grab a cup of coffee or tea from him, and/or some of his delicious coffee beans to go, which he’s happy to grind for you on the spot, if you don’t have the ability at home.

You can also support our fine friends at French Louie (and Buttermilk Channel) by purchasing a gift certificate from them, and/or support their out-of-work staff(s) by donating to a fund set up to help them out: Here.

Now, for your amusement, by request from a number of you, the following were our two worst customer experiences (only two bad ones, really) since I last wrote:

1) A woman came in looking for Moscato. “Well, that’s easy,” I tell her, “as we only have one, but luckily for you, it’s quite tasty. It’s a frizzante, so it has a light bubble to it, and that quintessential white peachy sweetness. Foris was a true pioneer in the Rogue Valley of southern Oregon and have been there since 1971, when they…”
“I’ve had that one,” she interrupted, “It’s bad.”
“Oooookay,” I replied and went back to restocking our decimated shelves, not bothering to explain to her the difference between her personal taste and empirical quality. I returned from the back, many bottles in hand to find her on the phone, standing directly between all 4 of our new no cell phone signs, and pointed to the one directly in front of her, at eye level, saying as gently as humanly possible, “We have a no cell phone policy.” She rolled her eyes at me, and left.

2) Two women came in the shop, with two spaniels (whom we offered treats, but their humans neither looked at us, nor offered response). Both Derek and I offered to help, separately, and were declined. The pair walked back and forth between the fridge and the shelves, taking up space, and making social distancing impossible. We both pleaded with them to do their shopping on the wall, and assured them that if they intended to open the bottles right away, we’d be happy to get them one from the fridge. They continued doing as they pleased, and then planted themselves in front of the fridge, as a pack, completely blocking the front door. Eventually, they left in a huff, and went home to leave us a 1-star Yelp review. Naturally, I replied publicly. Although, the review was so short that it very well could have been the lady from the previous incident. Whoever it was, she has literally never left a review above 1-star for any business.

Stay strong, keep hydrated, offer help to everyone to whom you have access, and take care of each other.

Most sincerely,
Jack
Proprietor
Free Range Wine & Spirits

When I Find Myself in Times of Trouble…

March 23, 2020 Leave a comment

At some point during the recent chaos, the email blasts from my little wine shop ended up containing the kind of stuff I used to post here. So, I’m going to start re-posting them, with links and extra pics, the likes of which I would have added, had they been in a post like this, originally. So, here’s what went out on 3/14/2020, updated, but unchanged:

Howdy Friends and Neighbors,

Toward the end of his life, Hunter S. Thompson lamented that it never got weird enough for him. Well, it’s pretty weird out there these days. I’m sure it will come as no surprise to most of you that we’ve suspended in-store tastings until further notice. That being said, I’ve always promised that you would never get an e-mail from us that didn’t include FREE booze, so any time you’re in the shop, pick a category, and you’re welcome to a FREE taste from any one of the bottles we currently have open: whiskey, gin, vodka, amaro

We’re very lucky here at Free Range, and the vast majority of our customers we see fairly regularly, and 99% of you all are wonderful to talk to and it is my genuine pleasure to be trusted with your booze needs. It was this very neighborhood that led me to put every dollar I had into this business 7 years ago, and after that first rocky, scary year, we’ve done quite well, and we continue to do so, right into these turbulent, uncertain days. As previously mentioned, Thursday was absolute chaos in here and there were only two of us working. Luckily, Derek is one of coolest, mellowest, most understanding human beings I know, and with the help of you all (minus 2), we made it through the highest volume day, per shop hand, we’ve ever experienced. Yesterday was even higher traffic, but there were 3 of us, and most everybody who came in was grateful and reasonable, and we can’t thank you enough.

I’m not sure what’s going on today, but we’re seeing a level of uneasiness and entitlement that is completely unprecedented. Again, we all know that we’re in uncharted territory here (locally, nationally, and globally), and most of us are still handling it fairly well. There are 2 favors that we’ve always asked all of our customers:

1) Please don’t let anybody under 21 years old handle bottles of alcohol.

2) Please remember that it takes an hour or less to chill a bottle of wine and only take from the fridge what you plan to open right away.

All of a sudden the latter simple request seems a bridge too far for a small few. We are all on edge, on both sides of the counter, and we’re doing our best to maintain our usual high level of product and service (while desperately trying to keep the shelves stocked), and we really need your help to meet the needs of everyone who comes through the door.

Please keep as cool-headed as possible, and take care of each other.

Most sincerely,
Jack
Proprietor
Free Range Wine & Spirits

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