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We report on the optical properties of single quantum dots in nanowires probed along orthogonal directions. We address the same quantum dot from either the nanowire side or along the nanowire axis via reflection on a micro-prism. The collected photoluminescence intensity from nanowires lying on a substrate is improved 3-fold using the prism as compared to usual collection from the top. More importantly, we circumvent the polarizing effect of the nanowire and access the intrinsic polarization properties of the quantum emitter. Our technique is compatible with the design of complex nanowire devices for the development of quantum opto-electronics.