24.11.2015

Sam - The Sommelier from London. A sparkling Credit Card fraud with Champagne

Yesterday in the early evening I was in the kitchen of Le Lion. I saw the world greatest Bar Back, Kaies, checking the champagne chambrair. " Seven bottles of Dom Perignon Rosé, eight Vintage ones" he gave this numbers as a notice to a bartender on the phone.

Sam was giving us a call from London.

He is coming to Hamburg tomorrow. He is meeting up with some very important Sommeliers. He has a very important meeting with them. But somehow his champagne provider fucked it up. So his is calling "high end" Bar to help him out. He is looking for Armand de Brignac. If we don't have it, Dom Perignon would be also ok...

I just observed all this: the phone call, out Bartenders checking out stock etc. Sam will call us back.

Sam called again. After checking stocks, the bartenders gave him our "in house" prices and it looks Sam doesn't care about the price. All bottles together would be a total of around 6500,- €. He said he is fine with the price. If it would be possible to give the credit card details via phone, so we could charge the total and a driver will pick up the bottles tomorrow afternoon directly to the meeting.

Bartenders asked me, if that would be ok. I said no. Sam has to come, we need the check the Credit Card (Black Amex is what he announced), get an authorization and need to see a passport. Something was wrong with this boy.

No Problem says Sam. He will come tomorrow and bring the card and everything. He is so happy that he found someone from the trade who will help him out.

For sure he didn't come. For sure no one is picking up Sam's British pre paid cell phone number shown on our display. The story was quite good. Bartenders like sommeliers. They are Brothers in mind.  The point I started wondering: Sam did not ask for the year of the champagne. Which a geeky sommelier always does. And he did not negotiate the price - which is unusual if you ask me. I was wondering if Sam found yesterday night a Bar or Hotel who made the deal with him.

Hopefully not. Would be a shame to lose good champagne to a semi professional credit card cheater.