Monday, 8 March 2021

Brexit by the wine glass

Can’t whine about wine

Much as we try to ignore it, the invisible dead hand of Brexit reaches out and touches things that matter though tolerable for the times we are in.

On Friday, the 19th of February, I got a call from the European wine distributor of some of the wine estates we visit in the Cape Winelands of South Africa. Whenever we’ve had the opportunity, we have gone to Backsberg in Paarl and Allée Bleue in Franschhoek, both places we last visited in January 2020 because of the alcohol ban over the recent Christmas/New Year period made a visit, not particularly worthwhile.

Capreo GmBH in Germany had called me earlier that day to invite me to an online wine tasting that will be hosted on Zoom by them and the vintner at Backsberg, the distributor supplying the wine and hoping that I will put in an order soon after.

Staggered by Brexit

Since I already had a good idea of what like, I made an order for wine from both estates buoyed by the assurance that the delivery will not be disrupted by Brexit, we learnt the better by experience. Whilst postage and packaging was paid by the distributor, the process of getting from Germany to the UK with UPS was fraught with issues we could not explain and no one could give any useful reason for it.

My order was processed on Tuesday, the 23rd of February, on the 24th an issue with a missing commercial invoice was resolved and one would think the parcel will be on its way on Thursday the 25th. That was the first of three days of getting the message, “The package is delayed due to a Brexit-related disruption. We are adjusting delivery plans as quickly as possible.” Each time, the delivery was adjusted an additional day until the parcel passed an Export Scan on 1st of March.

Decanted at my doorstep

The Brexit-related disruption continued until the 4th of March when it finally left Germany and arrived in the UK, but a few hours before the estimated delivery for Friday, the 5th of March, it was postponed again to the morning of the 9th of March, tomorrow. On Friday, I contacted Capreo about my order to no particular avail apart from being entertained with a friendly talkative banter which seemed to compensate for my apparent displeasure.

This morning, my apartment bell rang, and at the door was a delivery man with my box of wine arriving a day earlier than expected. It might well have been than containers bringing goods from Germany to the UK had to be filled and fully processed before my delivery could land, who knows. It definitely was not the experience when I put in an order last January.

I only hope my wine-tasting tipple is not lost in the Brexit quagmire that I am left sipping the wind in 11 days' time.

Tracking delivery notice.
Tracking delivery notice

 
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Detailed Tracking Information

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