Linda, a Wine Camp Blog reader, recently sent me this email about “corky” wines and Costco:
“Hi Craig. I read your interesting article about corky wine on the web and I hope you will give me some advice. I recently purchased a bottle of Cavit Pinot Grigio at Costco which turned out to be corky. When I returned it to Costco here in Georgia (I had my receipt), the manager said that he would let me do a “one-time courtesy return” and made a notation on my account. Here in Georgia we can return a bad bottle but only in exchange for the same brand, and that rule is fine by me. He said that they store the wines properly and that there was cork in the bottle and that was why it was corky, implying that I had not opened the bottle properly. I have had over 30 years as a flight attendant working in first class and am quite accustomed to opening a bottle of wine as well as recognizing a musty, corky odor. I am quit aggravated with his “one-time courtesy return” and would ask your advice on how to return a bottle should this happen again. ”
I see two mistakes here, first buying wine at Costco and secondly buying Cavit Pinot Grigio. Fortunately your bottle of Cavit was corked, meaning it actually had a flavor - as usually it’s tasteless.
The ignorant response of the manager is inexcusable and highlights why Costco is a bad place to buy wine. The manager clearly had no idea, interest nor training on a product in his store. People buy wine at Costco as they think they are getting good buys when all they are getting is commercial plonk that has bribed their way onto their shelves.
I often shop at Costo for toilet paper and such, but never buy wine there becaus they sell boring wines that are bad values at any price. A trip to any real fine wine retailer will get you many more wine bargains. You may not have heard of the brand, but the wines will taste better than anything you’ll get at Costco and not cost you a penny more.