I really don't want this blog to degenerate in to a discussion of all of the faults with the LCBO but there are times where I just can't resist.
The new VintagesOnlineExclusives site is one of those projects that I can't resist poking at. But even though I'll start out with a rant, let's turn this in to a feedback thread on how to improve things because this site has the potential to make finding and buying wine a better experience for everyone in Ontario.
From the initial launch problems (no support for Firefox or Safari) or the frustrating navigation issues that people encounter, here's one that grabbed me today.
You would think that the LCBO would like to use the power of the Internet to create buzz on interesting wines offered on the new online service. A blog (like this one) would happily discuss and highlight interesting bottles currently available. In fact, I was going to point out a gem that I came across just this morning.
Wouldn't it be great if I could link to that particular product? Just like Amazon, or virtually every product oriented commerce site out there?
Well, it looks like products don't have unique URLs so there's nothing to link to. Of course, I could simply copy and paste in the product name and LCBO product code, but come on now, this is 2008!
It's funny, I can link to the image of the label, but I can't link to the product description, or even the "buy me now" button.
How about RSS feeds for updates so we don't have to troll around the site looking for updates?
How about customer reviews and comments?
What else bugs you about this '90s-esque site?
Here's what I'd like to see addressed in priority order:
- RSS feed with updates
- linkable URLs to individual offers
- customer comments…
- US market avg retail price (kidding, kidding!)
UPDATE: And let's rationalize if this is "Vintages Online Exclusives" the title or the "Vintages Online Shop" which is what the URL would leave you to believe.
p.s. the wine in question is the 2004 Corté Riva Merlot from Napa. The winemaker is Romel Rivera who serves as assistant wine maker at Pride Vineyards (another favourite of ours). At $50 USD (plus tax and shipping) from the winery, the LCBO price of $71 looks like a solid value.