Oh dear me. Get out on the wrong side of bed did you, pierreverte?
This has been previously covered in some detail at Fee Verte, but for those interested:
RueVerte was set up from inception to be a one-stop absinthe supermarket, selling the full range of modern products, of all types and qualities.
During the Belle Epoque there were high-end fully distilled absinthes, and absinthes made from essences. There were absinthes made in the classic areas of France and Switzerland, and absinthes made in many other countries, in most cases of inferior quality but serving the particular tastes of their local market. There were absinthes in non-traditional colours, like red or pink. There were sweetened absinthes, and there were sparkling absinthes. There were even absinthes made without wormwood. The same is true today, and RueVerte sells a broad range of these products, just as a supermarket might for instance offer everything from grade A organic grain-fed prime fillet to budget frozen burger patties. Consumers seem to get their head around the concept that these two extremes still fall under the broad category of "meat", and I'm confident that customers of RueVerte are similarly able to understand that the category of "absinthe" might encompass a diverse range of products, some wildly dissimilar.
The key point is that these products are accurately described, in a way that will inform, but not mislead the consumer. We strive to do this at RueVerte. FAQ information is accurate. Essence based absinthes are described as such. Flowery and gushing quality descriptions are not used for non-distilled absinthes. Absinthes actively recommended by us are always distilled. RueVerte sells hundred of different absinthes, has thousands of lines of description, and is available, or will shortly be available in 4 different languages. With this sort of volume it's perfectly possible that errors will creep in, or that information from the manufacturer's promotional material will be used in an uncritical way. We're continually aiming to weed out examples of this, and where they are brought to our attention by customers, or by the good people of forums such as this one, we act immediately. Andrew White, known I think to many of you here, joined us recently specifically tasked to improve the quality and refine the accuracy of our descriptions. As I said, we don't always get it right, but when we find errors we correct them, and I'd invite the members here to compare our description of a typical Czech oil mix:
with, to take an example entirely at random from another well known supplier's site:
Of course, the question you may be asking, is why do this? Why sell such a broad range of absinthes, from so many countries, in so many styles? Why not sell only the very best of the best? The answer is that there are two reasons, one based on altruistic considerations, the other based on hard commercial reality. I've been open and upfront about both reasons before, here they are again:
The altruistic motivation:
You can't convert online purchasers of Czech oil mixes to higher quality and more traditional products unless they visit your site in the first place. So the choice is ignoring them entirely and leaving them to buy at sites that are riddled with misinformation and deliberate untruths, or providing them with the products they are looking for in an environment where they're given accurate information, and hopefully over time encouraged to try something more authentic. The page previously referred to in this thread is a good example:
A customer might reach this page because he was looking for Zelena Musa. He'll notice however that Martin Zufanek's La Grenouille is our top recommendation in this category. Hopefully, he'll eventually try it, or Martin's St Antoine, or the Oliva on the same page, all of which will set him firmly on the path towards traditionally distilled absinthes.
So our target market for non-traditonal Czech-style absinthes is those customers who are already buying them (the vast majority of the market in Germany, and in many other European countries, is for Czech-style absinthes). I see nothing at RueVerte that would lead a newcomer to these absinthes, and a tremendous amount that would steer them away from products like them, and encourage them to buy something properly distilled.
It'll come no doubt as a shock to those of you who know me only as a mild and saintly, Dalai Lama type person, dispensing folksy absinthe-related apercus and distributing alms to the poor, but there is also a hard commercial reason behind our selection of products at RueVerte, or, as one might put it:
The non-altruistic motivation:
You can't survive in the long term in the absinthe distribution business without volume. The online side of the business in particular is littered with the bleached bones of former sites (is that the skeleton of eAbsinthe I see by the waterhole? Is that the ruins of the Absinthe Museum of America I see peeking through the shifting sand dunes?). Volume enables you to provide low prices, cheap shipping, and effective pre and post sale service, the four things customers quite rightly demand. It's the reason supermarkets sell frozen burger patties alongside the grain fed fillet, and it's the reason RueVerte sells the widest possible range of absinthes, to the widest range of customers. It's the reason LDF developed Nemesinthe, and it's the reason, to take another example entirely at random, why Tempus Fugit, distributors of superb products like Vieux Pontarlier, also sell Mansinthe.
So there you have it. I make no apologies for the wide range of products RueVerte sells, we'll continue to do so, and we'll continue to endeavour to describe them accurately, price them fairly, and ship them efficiently. If there are errors in our descriptions, bring them to our attention, and we'll correct them.
And lastly, for those of you who like pierreverte prefer to buy from a site selling only the very finest naturally distilled, traditionally formulated absinthes from the historic absinthe homelands of France and Switzerland, may I suggest RueVerte's sister site, shipping out of our same offices in Freiburg (and benefiting from all the economies of scale I mentioned above):