In the wake of the news that booze retailer Majestic is re-entering the en primeur market, discounter Alldie have announced that they will be doing the same.
Un grand départ
‘It’s a big departure for us,’ admitted head of sales Kurt Price. ‘Usually we buy cheap tatt and sell it cheaply, whereas now we’re buying overpriced tatt and selling it at a price that’s hard to justify.’
The supermarket would, he said, ‘rely on the unshakeable lack of engagement’ of its customers to drive sales.
‘We’re very optimistic that they’ll go for it,’ said Price. ‘Frankly, most couldn’t give a toss what they eat and drink. That’s why they shop here.’
Le grand rip-off
Alldie customers polled by Fake Booze at its local store were not familiar with the term en primeur.
But once it was explained that it was French for a big rip-off in which wine critics gave inexplicably large scores out of 100, they reacted enthusiastically.
Regular aisle vulture Monica Scrubbs-Upwell, said that she understood that the wine ‘comes from when the producers scrape the bottom of the barrel. So it very much fits with what Alldie’s core values are all about’.
Who needs experts?
The discounter has put long-term underwear-buyer Kevin Gusset-Friendly in charge of its en primeur buying.
‘I first thought that the Place de Bordeaux was a kind of surgical dressing from our medical aisle,’ he told Fake Booze. ‘But once I managed to find the place on a map it was only a matter of hours before I was wearing ermine at a welcoming six-course Commanderie du Bontemps du Médoc dinner.’
Although Gusset-Friendly admitted that the move from boxer shorts to Bordeaux looked like a big jump, there were some similarities because ‘in both cases I’m mostly buying pants.’
Nous aimons Alldie!
Bordeaux itself has welcomed the growing rollcall of wine merchants who are happy to hoover up substandard plonk.
‘Nous aimons beaucoup Alldie’, said Louis Finances-Pauvres on behalf of the Union des Grands Hauts Crus des Ouvriers (UGHCO).
‘By buying all our unsold wines which would otherwise go for distillation, we will now have space in our tanks for this year’s vintage.
‘Though of course, they will also have to go for distillation in 2023 unless Alldie buy it all again next year.’
The cycle of overproduction, illogical pricing, and hype was, said Finances-Pauvres, very much part of the magic of Bordeaux, but he admitted that it was a complex message to get across.
‘For that we need our friends in the press,’ he said. ‘They can always be relied on to say that en primeur is a guarantee of quality, character and future profit.
‘The fact that it is, of course, none of these things means that some of them can be sceptical at first. But they always come round once we give them the chance to spend two weeks in our holiday gite over the summer ‘researching’ the issue.’
Asked for an opinion on buying en primeur, long-term investor Wang Kerr said that his losses were ‘about the same as Bitcoin’.
‘People say that you can always drink your stock,’ he told Fake Booze. ‘But life’s bad enough already without having to force down off-vintage Bordeaux thank you very much.’