E & J Gallo Wines

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Consumer Complaints and Reviews

On FEBRUARY 29, 2016 - I purchased a bottle of BAREFOOT WINE CABERNET SAUVIGNON at a local Schnucks grocery store. It was ON SALE for $4.56 that day. I had purchased this particular "kind" of wine as I was going to make a certain type of beef vegetable soup that uses this red wine as a broth. After opening the bottle and pouring into a glass, I drank about 2-3 ounces to taste it. I decided to pour the remaining wine into a larger glass container to have it ready for my soup recipe. In doing this - a HUGE, DEAD cockroach (at least 1.5 inches) WITH all legs attached, as well as two very long antennae was "stuck" in the neck of the wine bottle I had just opened 5 minutes ago.

I immediately gagged and began screaming. I thought I was going to faint from the sight of that HUGE bug floating in the wine. This is the MOST DISGUSTING and FRIGHTENING sight I have EVER witnessed. And to think I had JUST drank some of that wine where the cockroach was floating in... I called E & J GALLO WINES (main headquarters in Modesto, CA) to report this ~ but had to leave a message (no one answered). I called again the next day and spoke with a phone rep. named "CHRISTY" ~ who repeatedly told me SHE could handle my "concerns" when I asked several times to speak with a MGR. or SUPERVISOR. She also told me "This" (?) is how we handle these types of complaints concerning insects found in our wine by getting the consumer's name and ph. number and address so we can call you back"???

I explained some of the "insect in the wine bottle" situation I had experienced; ONLY for her to keep repeating that there were NO SUPERVISORS available but that SHE could help me. She then gave me a case number on this complaint when I insisted on speaking to a SUPERVISOR. Case # **. I was quite appalled and shocked at the ENTIRE incident - and her "Customer Service" (?) and unprofessionalism made it worse... She reminded me that "We at E & J WINES ~ HAVE dealt with THIS issue before; it DOES happen, and we can send you proper packaging to mail that bottle of wine back to us." I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Needless to say "This experience has left a bad taste in my mouth" is an UNDERSTATEMENT. I am hoping a PROFESSIONAL SUPERVISOR contacts me immediately. THANK YOU. P.S. I HAVE TAKEN PICTURES of THIS.

I opened a fresh bottle of Turning Leaf Merlot, 1997, while fixing dinner. I had consumed about two glasses of wine and when pouring the next glass a large dead roach came out into my glass. I immediately got sick, but I have retained the roach in the glass and the bottle of wine that it came out of. I have pictures of the roach (he was definately dead and had no legs).

I contacted Gallo and was offered a case of the same wine, as if I would ever touch their product again. I was then referred to Mary Ellen at Chubb Insurance Company and asked what I was willing to settle for. I said $5,000. They offered $500. I said no thank you.

They sent a man over to take pictures of the roach. She said they had a similar situation but determined the roach was not a California. roach. I am a 50-year-old woman and to me this is the most repulsive thing to ever happen to me in my entire life. I am mortally terrifed of roaches and to even suggest that I would intentionally put one in a glass to cause them a problem or that my kitchen is so disgustingly filthy that big roaches are running rampant is beyond my comprehension. I feel they have totally swept this under the carpet and the fact that they admitted to a similar situation is evidence that I am not the first one to find a roach in their product. This was not a little bug, and it was totally intact except for his legs. Had he just climbed into my bottle, that was kept corked he would have still been alive. Whether I see a penny of money, I want the consumers to be aware of what I experienced.

Red wine was the only alcohol I drank. Physically no there was no damage, but mentally I cannot look at red wine without seeing roaches floating in it.

Here's the company's response:

All of our Turning Leaf wines pass through microfiltration several times prior to bottling. The bottling lines are "closed" in the sense that the wine passes from the storage tank through the bottling machine and into the bottle without being exposed to air (which can destroy the wine.) The bottles are immediately corked. Thus, it would have to be one very fast cockroach to scamper into the bottle during the fraction of a second it takes to fill the bottle and cork it. While it is theoretically possible that multiple filter failures could have occured that resulted in a bug getting through the system, this borders on the impossible. Our quality control practices are ISO 9000 certified and we inspect and monitor our systems constantly. If there had been a systems failure, we would have known about it and destroyed the affected product.

A large bug such as that described in the posting could not enter the bottle until it was uncorked by the consumer. We investigate all such matters because the quality of our wines from the time they are made until the time they are consumed is extremely important to us. In this case, our investigation found that the bug was not native to California. So unless it was vacationing in sunny California and on a tour of our Winery at the time (again, extremely unlikely), the bug could not have been in our bottling room to seize the moment and plunge into a great wine.

We did reach an accomodation with the individual and we regret the inconvenience.

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E & J Gallo Wines