Bottom Line/Personal: How do you return a bottle of wine?

Amy Dixon: You bring it back. You bring it back.

Bottom Line: I mean a bad bottle of wine. I don’t mean like you changed your mind.

Dixon: No. And even changing your mind—I mean, not for nothing. If you have a good retailer, once you’ve established a relationship with, be honest. If the wine has either been stored improperly or the wine is flawed in some reason—it has a bad cork, it was cooked—any of those reasons, or they sold you something that you really just don’t like—that can be a little bit of the bane of the existence for a poor retailer that you ended up with something you didn’t like. But at the end of the day, a good retailer should want to see you happy. So yes, they should always take the wine back.

I advise you to do it within a day or two of your purchase, though. Don’t wait a week out of being polite, because if the wine is flawed, it gives the retailer the opportunity to check the wine against your nose and their nose to say, “Oh yes, I’m so sorry. I should report it back to the winery about the quality of this wine—that there’s something going on.” So that’s always really helpful.

Bottom Line: Is there a difference in reaction you’ll get from a big-box retailer versus the local guy?

Dixon: I would hope not. It should really be one response. Absolutely, if they’re about customer service, they should always take it back. And the same thing in a restaurant. If you smell the wine and it smells off or the cork is off and you see that the cork is saturated because the wine has been exposed to heat during transportation, send it back. And if they argue with you, then that’s a really bad sommelier. They should also taste it, obviously, to see what you’re talking about.

Sometimes I’ve actually had experiences where I’ve opened a bottle of wine and something doesn’t smell quite right and it just needed a little bit of breathing time. A good sommelier can tell you that and back up your nose and your palate if you’re doubting yourself.

Bottom Line: Great, thank you.