Warning: The Wine Connection/Max Marinucci (Pound Ridge, NY)

Ordered a case of wine from Max Marinucci @ Wine Connection in November. Not expensive, and totally replaceable so this is not about some lost treasure. From November - March, I sent a few messages inquiring about shipment. Most of them were returned (not all, but most) within a week with the explanation that it was cold in the Northeast and he was holding shipments until warmer weather. Shipment was promised for early February but it never materialized, but whatever, it’s still cold.

No biggie because I had not been charged at this point.

Come early April, I inquired again and on 4/17 shipment was promised for 4/19.
4/24 requested tracking number from Max because . . . no wine. No response. 5/1 requested update. Now his excuse is that his carrier is delayed and that Texas is a pain. I point out it’s going to get hot here pretty soon and I will be in the Northeast soon, so if he wants me to pick it up, I can. He sends me an email from the shipper which talks generally about delays in shipment. So, last week, now nearing the end of May (still no wine), I call the shipper. No record of a shipment to me from Wine Connection and they want to know what the tracking number is. And now, Max is dark.

Caveat emptor with this guy.


(Edited because I am not sure that he’s ever charged me).

Thanks for letting us know.
I’m fed up with chasing wine shops about my orders. I will avoid this place.

I have bought hundreds, perhaps thousands, of bottles over the course of 15 or so years from Max. Great deals, great communication and great service. He’s basically a one man shop, and sometimes there can be mistakes, but nothing he hasn’t made right.

I’m not denying the OP’s bad experience, but want those declaring “I’ll avoid him” based on that report to know there are lots of very satisfied customers as well.

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I don’t think he’s a scammer. I simply think he does not care about fulfilling the order, and can’t be bothered to tell me that, ship it or simply let me pick it up. I have approaching a dozen emails to him and many have gone unanswered.


This sort of thing has come up in the past with Max. Might it be that he cares about his big customers, and either doesn’t have bandwidth for or doesn’t care to give attention to smaller customers?

I had a similar experience last year for 1 $400 mag. Not piling on, just stating a fact. “What we have here is, failure to communicate.”

Pick up the phone ???

He often doesn’t answer the phone.

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Bill Klapp ripped into Max harshly a number of years ago over the same kind of thing, probably worse as I recall. Not sure if the post is still available, or if everything from Klapp has been expunged from history, but its worth a skim.

I don’t think HM$ issue is an isolated case or anything, probably just the rare person willing to speak up rather than sheepishly slink off and avail themselves of online chargeback features on a card.

Yeah, I have called about 4 times. Never reached anyone nor gotten a call back. Emails are about 50-50.


I think that was this thread:


I don’t know Max and have no particular opinion, but as far as I know Dan Posner respected him and I respect Dan’s opinion.

And I also respect Bill Klapp’s, so take your pick.

He has a number of satisfied customers so I’d probably give him a chance, but maybe that’s just because I’m such a soft touch.

Had a similar experience with Max. Ordered bottles that supposedly were in stock, but they were never shipped. After series of delays I cancelled the order.

Was just curious, thanks . Hope it ends ok, thanks . In this case , no wine received and no charge to credit card.

This is the last communication with him. Never received a response. I still get his solicitation emails and there have been many, many things I would have potentially purchased.

I responded to your email immediately upon receipt. I stated that it is warming very quickly here and agreed to take your offer of shipping this week. No further communication was received from you or anyone else. UPS just dropped off a package but no wine. It’s 90 degrees here today. I don’t need to be reminded that with everything going on, this is small potatoes. At this point, I really only have two options: wait until November for shipping (unacceptable) or be refunded (undesirable but apparently necessary). Please respond to this email to let me know that it was received. If the magnum of 2010 Sandrone Cannubi can be shipped with cold packs, please let me know. With both of us being Italian wine lovers, I’m sure that neither of us want it to be ruined by heat.
Regards, Mike

Sent from my iPad

On Mar 13, 2020, at 2:54 PM, Massimo Marinucci <mmarinucci@me.com> wrote:


We cannot pick up phones at the moment. The virus buying is keeping us busy. If you’d like your bottle shipped, please send an email and we will ship next week.



Sent from my iPhone

Max once sent me some Barolos which I never ordered, for Bill but at my address. After several attempts to contact both and return the wine, I just drank them.

Same experience. Many unreturned emails and voicemails (and they don’t pick up during their limited specified phone hours either). On my winesearcher ignore list.