I went to the Laurier store today to get two wines. I went out of my way to get to this specific outlet, because they had the wines I wanted to get in stock. The first one (of which they had 4 bottles left according to the software) was nowhere to be found. They finally found the manager and he said that the bottles weren't available any more. I heard them talking to each other in French that it was reserved for someone else (I guess they thought I didn't understand it). When I inquired whether if this is allowed (I remember reading in this board a few years back that it wasn't permissible), they got a little defensive and insisted that you have a week to pick your bottles up if you reserve. I then mumbled that maybe they should drop the reserved wines from the "available" list in their inventory online, but they guy wasn't interested in my opinion. I didn't have the chance to ask how one gets to reserve a wine.
The second one was also nowhere to be found. The manager dismissively said that they can't locate it and he can't help me, and left the floor. I wasn't surprised by this attitude because I had horrible experiences with this outlet in the past when I tried to speak English to the staff (when you are young, casually dressed, horrible with French pronunciation, or English speaking they assume that you don't know anything about wine), but oh well I am not getting into the politics of SAQ or the province. Besides, I had excellent service at other outlets (Atwater, Alexis Nihon, Mont Royal) with my broken French, or better but still broken English.
But seriously, can one reserve a bottle in advance (especially for fly-off-the-shelf wines) or NOT? Or is it some special treatment to their special clients? I am genuinely curious because I am interested in small batch (but usually affordable) wines that sell out very quickly and this should save me a lot of time and effort. I can't find this information anywhere, and if anyone knows the secret code for getting a bottle reserved please share (but it won't be so secret anymore)
Just when I was walking home, defeated that some arrogant person ruined my birthday, I decided to stop by Marche Latina to get some cheese. I asked for a cheese with my broken French. The guy corrected my pronunciation with zero condescension plus some good humor (there are ways to do this you know!), and spent the next 15 minutes helping me pick some cheese with his own not that good English. They have a small but well edited selection of cheese. I wish I lived closer. Then I realized how I should still have some hope that we can all live together in this dysfunctional province if people were just a little nicer.