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Wine Bottle Cork - What To Do With It

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

My boyfriend and I went to a new upscale restaurant in town. The wine steward put the cork from the bottle of wine he opened on our table. What was my boyfriend supposed to do with it, pick it up and smell it?


Need to know next time

Dear Need to know next time,

The wine steward, wine waiter, or sommelier makes sure the wine and other drinks are properly served and meet expectations. Most likely, the sommelier had quickly examined the cork before placing it on the table. If the cork were obviously tainted, then the sommelier would not serve the wine.

When the cork is placed on the table, simply look at the wine bottle cork and nod okay to the sommelier. You don't have to pick it up, but you can examine the cork for cracks or mold. It used to be that one would sniff the cork, but that is not the case these days. It's better to sniff the wine in the glass before drinking.

After the sample of wine is poured and tasted, assuming it tastes fine, once again nod approval to the sommelier, who will then pour the wine for all the guests.