If airline passengers can draft a customer’s bill of rights, surely we wine drinkers can offer our thoughts about what rights or protections we think we’re entitled to when we buy a bottle of wine.
A couple of subjects immediately come to mind.
Aside from what already exists on wine labels, I’d like to see true alcohol levels, and I wouldn’t mind it if wineries provided more information about the wine itself—utilizing back labels is one way to include more details on bottles.
Anyone who buys a wine that’s corky should be entitled to a complete refund from someone—whether it’s the producer or retailer. No one should pay for something they don’t get, and if you buy a bottle of wine, it should not be tainted. I also think a corked wine should be replaced irrespective of its age, whether it’s a new release or a wine you’ve cellared for years.
We shouldn’t be charged for wines that are cooked or spoiled during shipping, or that are improperly stored somewhere along the distribution or retail channel. This is tricky since once a bottle of wine leaves a winery, or wine store, it can be mistreated and that’s not the fault of the producer or seller. Still, if you buy a wine and open it within a certain time fame—and find it’s spoiled—you should be entitled to a refund.
I also think consumers should be entitled to a stable product, free of microbial or other defects. I know this is a touchy subject. On one hand, we want winemakers to take risks to make the greatest, purest wines possible. Still, we shouldn’t have to pay for their mistakes. If you open a bottle of wine that smells like a horse stable or salad dressing, or a table wine that refermented in the bottle, that’s not right. Something went wrong somewhere in production.
So, let’s get started and see where this goes. If you have a suggestion or idea about how a wine drinker’s bill or rights might look, please share it here. Or if you disagree with a proposal, feel free to express that, too.
If you feel the urge to vent, well, that’s OK, too. (Just keep it civil.) I’d like to hear all sides of this argument and whether you think a consumer’s bill of rights is possible or necessary or helpful or even a waste of time.
Winery owners, winemakers and retailers are interested in your thoughts. I know, because they’ve told me they are and they care about what you think.
Douglas Johnson — Appleton, WI — March 9, 2007 2:12pm ET
Lorenzo Erlic — victoria canada — March 9, 2007 2:22pm ET
Mr Randy Beranek — Napa, CA — March 9, 2007 3:37pm ET
Sao Anash — Santa Barbara — March 9, 2007 4:03pm ET
Susan Owens — March 9, 2007 6:00pm ET
Troy Peterson — Burbank, CA — March 9, 2007 7:23pm ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — March 9, 2007 7:28pm ET
Roy Piper — Napa, CA. — March 9, 2007 11:48pm ET
Ernie Matherne Jr — Baton Rouge, LA — March 10, 2007 11:54am ET
Scott Cheney — Michigan — March 12, 2007 12:41am ET
Susan Owens — March 12, 2007 10:47am ET
William Newell — Buffalo, NY — March 12, 2007 2:16pm ET
Jared Wagner — Maple Valley, WA — March 12, 2007 2:31pm ET
Scott Cheney — Michigan — March 12, 2007 5:00pm ET
Jared Wagner — Maple Valley, WA — March 13, 2007 12:57pm ET
Jim Mcclure — DFW, Texas — March 13, 2007 6:51pm ET
Jared Wagner — Maple Valley, WA — March 14, 2007 1:04pm ET
Jim Mcclure — DFW, Texas — March 14, 2007 8:04pm ET
Timothy Andrews — Poulsbo, WA — March 18, 2007 1:30pm ET
Robert Johnston — Washington DC — March 23, 2007 9:12am ET
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