How to Return Wine to the Store

Did you know you can return wine to the store?  Not because you didn’t like it, but if it suffers from cork taint, which is that moldy, wet newspaper smell that affects about 5% of wines. This happened last week when I opened a $130 bottle of the white Bordeaux Château Pape Clément I that had purchased for a bespoke seminar series I am doing for clients.

Since we couldn’t drink it, I poured a tiny bit out and passed it around the room – a perfect instructional tool for demonstrating “corked wine”.

The next day I took the nearly-full bottle back to Sherry-Lehmann Wine & Spirits, where the manager smelled the wine and immediately issued a refund.

“I hope it didn’t ruin your night,” the manager said warmly, handing me the return receipt.

The wine store will likely not be stuck with the bad wine, either, as the wine’s distributor or producer will often take it back.

The bottom line is that corked wine happens no matter how illustrious the wine or the merchant, but there is recourse.

return wine to store

’62 La Tache, ’37 Yquem, &…a $15 Santa Barbara Sauvignon Blanc? My Picks Revealed on Grape Nation Radio

Grape Nation Mark Oldman

A few weeks ago I appeared on Sam Benrubi ‘s Grape Nation radio show on Heritage Radio. He asked a slew of incisive questions, and I revealed a cornucopia of personal favorites. Sam’s transcript of the Q&A segment is below, with my commentary in brackets. The full broadcast can be found here.

“Mark gives us some Billion Dollar recos for our weekly Wine List:

1. What are you drinking now– Viognier, a rich white with less oak than Chardonnay, [as well as the French version called] Condrieu from the Northern Rhone. Also [what Mark calls “Low Buzz Pioneers”] from the Napa Valley like Chappellet WineryRobert Mondavi Winery & Beringer Vineyards.

2. Favorite wine and food pairing- pancakes & Chateau d’Yquem, rose Champagne [esp. Dom Pérignon rose] with spareribs.

3. Favorite wine restaurant and/or bar-Aquagrill, NYC stands the test of time with a smart seafood wine list. Also Bâtard, NYC & A.O.C. Wine Bar and Restaurant in LA. Dawat Indian in NYC has an affordable BYOB policy with heavenly samosas, great with sparkling wine.

4. Favorite all-time wine- find generous friends with great taste in wine. ’62 & ’78 La Tache, ’59 Henri Jayer Richebourg, a ’37 d’Yquem & Brander Sauvignon Blanc from Santa Barbara, CA [enjoyed on a picnic bench at the winery with freshly caught trout shared by the owner].

5. Best wine around 15 bucks Red & White- Red, Portuguese reds, like Quinta do Crasto’s Douro Flor de Crasto. White, of course Muscadet, and Verdejo from Rueda, Spain.

For our “Weekly Wine Sip” Mark brought in the most interesting wine of this segment, a 2005 Volnay Burgundy from the private collection of Geddy Lee, lead singer & bassist from RUSH. Geddy purchased barrels at the 2005 Hospice de Beaune in France. The full name of the wine is 2005 Hospices de Beaune Volnay 1er Cru Santenots Cuvée Jéhan de Massol Lucien Le Moine pour Geddy Lee.”

Full Grape Nation interview is here.

The Five Stages of Opening a Priceless La Tache

La Tache from Domaine de la Romanee Conti

It is not often that one gets to uncork and drink one of wine’s undisputed treasures. When a friend recently shared a 1983 La Tache from the mythical producer Domaine de La Romanée-Conti, I wondering if I was up to the daunting task of unleashing this priceless wine.  See the video to see how it went.

The rest of the wines this night were equally stunning,  and most were from 1983, including the entire red portfolio of Domaine de La Romanée-Conti, 35 years in the making.

2014 Marius Delarche Corton-Charlemagne

1983 DRC Echezeaux

1983 DRC Grands-Echezeaux

1983 DRC Romanee-St.Vivant

1983 DRC Richebourg

1983 DRC La Tache

1983 DRC Romanee-Conti

1983 Joseph Drouhin Chambertin

1983 Mommessin Clos de Tart

'14 Marius Delarche Corton-Charlemagne '66 DRC Romanee-Conti magnum A Rudy bottle, almost certainly fake; pink capsule! 1983 DRC Echezeaux 1983 DRC Grands-Echezeaux 1983 DRC Romanee-St.Vivant 1983 DRC Richebourg 1983 DRC La Tache 1983 DRC Romanee-Conti 1983 Joseph Drouhin Echezeaux 1983 Joseph Drouhin Chambertin 1983 Mommessin Clos de Tart

What Wine with The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel? Join Mark Oldman & Amazon Video at the Hollywood Athletic Club

What wine matches with “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”? What grape goes with “”The Grand Tour? Join Mark Oldman on April 24th, 7pm, at the Hollywood Athletic Club where he will pair wine with Amazon Prime Now’s hit shows, including  “Electric Dreams,” “Mozart in the Jungle,” “Long Strange Trip,” “The Grand Tour,” and “The Dangerous Book For Boys,” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”.
Reserve here.
 

Where Nike’s Phil Knight, the US Ambassador to Russia, & Mark Oldman Converge

What do Nike founder Phil Knight, a former US Ambassador to Russia, the current CEO of the Girl Scouts, and Yahoo Cofounder Jerry Yang, and Mark have in common? They were all recently featured as “Stanford Pathfinders” on this new SiriusXM show hosted by Howard Wolf.

Mark discusses how he got his start in wine, how to order wine in a restaurant, why he advises drinkers to engage in “vinous promiscuity,” and a slew of other intoxicating topics. He and Howard enjoy a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve from Robert Mondavi, the late wine pioneer himself a Stanford alumnus (class of 1936, a very good year for California wine).

Click here to listen.