So you’re in a nice restaurant…ya know…Olive Garden.
And you tell the waiter “uh yes, I’d like to buy a bottle of your house pinot noir”, because you’re feeling fancy.
The waiter comes out with the bottle, opens it, and gives you the cork. You accept the cork and look back at the waiter and just smile thinking to yourself “this will go nice in my cork collection at home”.
What else are you supposed to do with a stupid cork?
Well, I’ll tell you…
Look at it.
Don’t smell it.
Often times, when you purchase a bottle of wine at a restaurant or sometimes even just when you’ve requested a pour from a certain bottle, the server will present the wine, uncork it and hand the cork over to you. Sometimes they may just place it on the table.
Back in the day, wine labels deteriorated more easily, so checking the cork of a wine was a great way to check and make sure that was in fact the wine you requested. Nowadays, we don’t have that issue. You can easily just check the label as the server presents the wine to you before opening it. Sometimes, they’re in a hurry and don’t grab the right bottle. This your time to double check.
The main info a cork offers to you is if the wine was properly stored. You want the cork to be nice and moist which ensures the wine was stored on it’s side. Wines that are sealed with cork need to be stored on their side to seal out air. When this is done, the cork stays nice and saturated until it’s opened.
Beyond that, the judgement of value and greatness comes from the delicious fermented grape juice that gets poured into your glass: the wine. That’s where you’ll check the color, body or leg, smell, and taste of the wine!
You can give the cork back to the server, now.
So now you know the great ‘secret of the cork’ and can share it with your friends and family next time you’re out. You don’t have to be a wine snob to know a few good things about wine! If you liked this info, you can contact me about hosting a wine tasting where I share more insight on easy tips and tricks to identify characteristics of a wine to know what it will taste like before even taking the first sip!