A man of fifty was stopped from buying a bottle of wine in Tesco's because he admitted to staff that he had no idea what he was buying. He said that he usually drank lager, but had decided on a whim to try wine.
Staff at the Birmingham store first became suspicious when the man spent twenty minutes comparing the labels on the backs of the bottles. The store manager said "People who know what they are doing usually go for the special offers - it was obvious he was a novice."
The man was challenged when he attempted to pay for his chosen bottle, a £16.99 Rioja. "I was approached by the manager who said I looked below the minimum knowledge level and said he couldn't serve me if I had no idea. I tried to tell him I knew what I was doing, but he insisted that I should leave without the bottle."
The store manager later said that although the man appeared to be in his fifties, the store had a policy of challenging anyone who looked a bit confused in case they had no idea. "In this case, the shopper had chosen a wholly inappropriate wine. He should have realised that a £4.99 generic Tempranillo would be perfectly good enough for someone with such a limited palate."
The man was upset by the store's decision, but has resolved to stay away from wine in future. "I was not really sure if I'd like a boisterous but silky red, packed with fruit and giving hints of raspberry and warm chocolate, anyway."
Tesco's has confirmed that their policy on controlling access to the more expensive wines will continue. "A loyalty card from any of the main off-licences or a subscription to a wine magazine will do. But don't try to buy wine if you have no idea. You won't even be served if we think you are a wine drinker but you are buying it for someone else who has no idea."