Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Amazon goes old-tech with sommelier phoneline

Published:  11 February, 2016

Online retail giant Amazon is trialing what it is describing as a sommelier service for its customers in Japan.

Users of the site who leave their phone number on the purchase page for a bottle of wine will receive a call offering expert wine advice over the phone.

The customer can then consult with the wine adviser on subjects such as food-and-wine matching, as well as on the wine in question and possible alternative or additional purchases.

If required, the Amazon sommelier will also follow up with advice on email.

The team is headed by Japanese wine expert Miyuki Hara, and includes a number of trained sommeliers.

The service is only available on weekdays between 12pm and 5pm.

The customer service concept is similar to that offered by other online wine retailers, such as WaitroseCellar, who have teams of specialists available for consultation.

It represents a step away from the dominant customer-centric philosophy at Amazon, which typically privileges consumer rankings above expert commentary.

Amazon has yet to confirm if the service will be rolled out to customers elsewhere in the world.