About Me
I'm a Melbourne boy, hailing from St Kilda with one ex, one current wife and four kids. Love the outdoors and making new discoveries. I cook a lot at home (cheers from wife) and do some preserving, mostly jams, pickles and fruit liqueurs. This is the diary of a cooking journey.

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Monday, February 19, 2007
Over at Food Blog S'cool, Sam has written a heads up to a post over at Almost Vegetarian regarding gifts from PRs to food bloggers. In the post, AV points out the pros and cons of accepting gifts from PR (Public Relations) and persuasively argues that accepting a gift is akin to making a deal with the devil, unless you can accept that gift on your own terms.

I wrote an article for The Age newspaper about vinegar some twelve years ago, before they changed their policy about accepting gifts and I recall all the vinegar samples that were sent to me and The Age; I simply boxed my gifts up and forwarded them to the paper who got a nice photo for the article. Okay, it was only vinegar, but I wonder if it was a truffles or foie gras how I would have gone? Of course if it was for an article I would have had to try some, but exactly what do you say about a freebie. Do you unconsciously write a few more encouraging words than you otherwise would? It's impossible to know, so why put yourself in that position?

Something that's been on my mind a bit is that I often write about food and wine retailers and one in particular, Prince Wine Store, has featured several times on this blog. Whenever I write about a store it's because something about them has piqued my interest and an article just flows from there. But because I've mentioned Prince Wine Store a few times, I've wondered if some readers might think that I have some special interest, financial or otherwise, in them.

So just to set the record straight, the only interest I have in the Prince Wine Store is as a customer. I shop for wine at three different stores, the other two being Dan Murphy's and Vintage Cellars. The main reason I write mostly about Prince Wine Store is that consistently they have the more interesting wines and to my mind they don't seem unduly expensive and the wines are very often put on tasting - absolutely free. Which I think you, gentle reader, should know about.

I know that, having attended several tastings, these people are not only passionate about wine, they are also very knowledgeable to boot. They have never approached me to write about a wine or publicise their tastings; the champagne I wrote about for one post, I purchased myself and in that instance they went out of their way to help locate a bottle that had just gone out of stock and charged me no more than the stock price list despite the champagne having gone up in price and not knowing that I was going to write it up. I like stores like that.

Back in December when I was looking for some donated prizes for the Menu For Hope campaign, I emailed them and asked if they would like to be involved. Because I wasn't sure if they understood the concept of blogging I did point them at some posts that were written about them and they very kindly responded with a prize voucher. That one instance is the sole time there has been any financial gain, not for me though, rather the world's hungry.

So that's it. I shop at Prince Wine Store as a customer. There are no special discounts or free bottles to try other than their regular free tastings which any person in Melbourne can attend on the same basis as me and I will continue to alert you to these tastings because I think you should know. Very often with tastings at other stores, they are promoting a wine or group of wines because there has been a deal done to push them, at Prince Wine Store, the feeling I get is they put certain bottles on, more because they like them. They are like proud parents showing off their children rather than pushing a wine because they have been paid to do so.

That's my kind of shop.

Labels: ,

  posted at 12:01 pm

At 2:57 pm, Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

There are a lot of slippery slopes that one can fall into with gifts. When there are really no strings, I'm impressed with everyone involved.

At 12:23 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sluuurp, slurrrp (on the wine that is).

At 2:24 pm, Blogger neil said...

Hi tanna, no strings - no puppets.

Hi greg, sip, sip, I'm just not a noisy drinker :)


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