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.