Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Name:
Location: Sacramento, California, United States

12.13.2014

Day 259: Cutsomer Service Contrasts

Mr. E and I are having a quick trip to wine country this weekend, and we're staying at the Hilton Garden Inn Sonoma County Airport, as we were able to use points for the room at this hotel and be near to our destination of J Vineyards.

We often take a taxi to and from the winery when we have a reservation at the Bubble Room so that we can fully enjoy the food and wine tasting experience and not have to worry about driving later. When we checked in to the hotel, Mr. E asked the front desk about a recommendation for a taxi service, and the staff person said she could either give us the information or call a cab for us. We asked her to make the call and told her we needed to leave at 1:40pm, which gave us about 35 minutes to go up to the room before our departure.

Once we got down to the lobby around 1:35pm, Mr. E asked the same employee if she had called the taxi, to which she replied, "of course."  However, as we loitered in the lobby area, I overheard her saying "...a taxi as soon as possible... J Vineyards...," which made me rather suspicious as it seemed quite coincidental that someone else would be heading to the same destination at the same time and also suggested to me that she had not called the taxi as she had promised and affirmed. I told Mr. E what I'd heard, and we decided we'd wait until 1:45pm and then just drive on our own, which is what we ended up doing, since the taxi didn't arrive as we had requested. Very disappointing customer service...

Once we got to J and were seated in the Bubble Room, we discovered that the wine and food pairing menu was a special holiday edition that featured all sparkling wines rather than the usual diversity of sparkling plus other whites and several reds. I heard one of the Bubble Room staff mention Pinotage to some guests at another table, so we asked if it was also being poured as part of the pairing or could be added, and she indicated that we could add any of the reds. When we then expressed our surprise and slight disappointment about the sparkling wine menu, she told us that they could accommodate a switch to all reds, since that's what we prefer.

The staff checked with the chef to determine which reds would  be appropriate for each dish on the tasting menu and designed a wonderful "on-the-fly" line-up of J Pinot Noirs to accompany our food. We enjoyed the entire experience and were much happier with the reds than we would have been with the sparkling wines. Fabulous and exceptional customer service.

What a contrast!

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