Wine Frankly: Dealing with a Bad Wine

ed93fd84-a985-461d-bc20-71d8781256d5Good hospitality dictates that the customer is always right, right?  Well… the wine business is a unique industry that makes, samples and sells a product that is both a commodity and living thing.  It changes with temperature, light, age and abuse, just as personal tastes change with mood, temperament, and emotional upheaval.  This week Franks Wine had an unusual number of wines returned that were “bad.”
Is it me?  Or is it you?
Sometimes it’s you. I know that’s tough, but let’s be real here. You liked the wine when you tasted it at the winery or here at FranksWine. You liked it so much that you bought some.  As a matter of fact, you liked every wine you tasted that day!  You were having a great day, one that looks even better when revisited on your Facebook page.  Okay, fast forward to next month, dinner with the in-laws.  You bring the wine and pour it around.  Hmmm, not really doing it for you tonight.  Wine must have gone bad….better call Frank or the winery tomorrow and complain.  Surely they’ll give you another bottle because they want you to be happy don’t they?
Well, guess what sugarplum – there is nothing wrong with that bottle of wine.  It is exactly what you purchased last month while having the time of your life at that wine tasting crawl.  You are in a different space now, maybe not looking forward to the dinner, maybe feeling stressed or downright pissed off about something, or just wishing for a cocktail but making do with wine tonight.  You are in a different mood, but the wine is in the same mood it always is.
That being said my policy has always been
if you don’t like it, bring it back and I’ll drink it!
938c5ac8-619a-4819-b6df-2a41a4644877Most wine shops will allow you to return a bottle of wine is if it is “corked.”  A bad cork causes a perfectly good wine to take on an unpleasant, earthy, mustiness that overpowers any fruit flavors.  Any winery or wine shop worth their reputation will replace a corked bottle.  No questions asked.  I just like to go that extra step.
What other product can you sample before you buy it, and return it after using half?
 Am I right??

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About the Contributor

Frank Pagliaro

Frank Pagliaro

Frank Pagliaro has been a Wilmington wine merchant since 1986 – Frank’s Union Wine Mart. He is the Team Host & Chief Wino of the Marathon Team which gets fellow winos and runners together to train for a yearly Fall Marathon while raising money for children’s charities.