Dear Arthur’s Cellar Wine Club Member :
It is with more than a little sadness that Hélène and I are informing you that we have decided to greatly curtail our wine importing business, including the Arthur’s Cellar Wine Club. This is after more than ten years of successful operation and over 5,000 individual orders worth more than $2 million on behalf of our Members and Restaurants.
Why? Simply because we can no longer bear dealing with the LCBO. You might remember that we suspended operations for six months a year or so ago when LCBO Private Ordering introduced a new operating system. We anticipated chaos and were not disappointed. However, we also hoped that in time the new system would settle in and the LCBO folks would learn to work effectively with it. On that count we were totally wrong. Not only have things not improved, they have gotten progressively worse. I am not going to bore you with all of the wretched details, but if you are interested, drop me a line and I’ll be happy to explain further.
LCBO Private Ordering’s systems and operating procedures are extremely complex and inflexible. The way we do business does not fit neatly into their way of doing things. Their senior management have worked heroically with us to make things work, but to no avail. We thank them for their efforts.
Dealing with our wineries and wine club Members has been a delightful experience and we are going to really miss that part of our endeavours.
So, What’s Next?
We are going to proceed with four more regular wine club offerings. First, as soon as we receive needed information from the winery, will be Les Cuvées du Firmament followed by Champagne Forget-Brimont, Domaine Chabrier Fils and finally Domaine Palon. And that will be the end of our regular operations.
We are going to retain just four wineries – Domaine Roger Sabon, Domaine Palon, Domaine Giuliani and Champagne Forget-Brimont and will offer them once a year to our wine club and Le Sélect Bistro.
I am going to continue writing my book about our vinous experiences (excerpts of the first seven chapters can be found at ‘Gentleman’s Portion’), intensify my struggles to learn French and read more with the not inconsiderable amount of time thus freed up. And, Hélène and I intend to travel more frequently for longer periods and spend more time with our granddaughter and granddog.
Thank you all for your gracious support; it has been a most wonderful experience.