by Erika S., Wine Enthusiast Companies
The purpose of tasting your wine prior to pouring is to check quality and temperature. You want to taste the wine to be sure it is free from cork taint and oxidation. A corked bottle of wine has been infected by a pesky mold called Trichloroanisole (TCA) and an oxidized bottle of wine will have been exposed to excess oxygen, rendering it undrinkable. So, how do you know?
Please do not smell the cork. Smell the wine. Taste the wine as you normally would: swirl- sniff-sip and look for off-aromas like wet newspaper, mustiness, or even a complete lack of smell. These are all signs of a bottle that is suffering from one of the aforementioned problems. If you feel that youâ€™ve got a sick bottle, send it back without hesitation. You should never pay for a damaged bottle of wine.
Then decide if your wine is at the appropriate temperature. Hopefully it has been stored at the proper temperature at the restaurant but if not, have them chill it down if need be. If everything tastes right, give the waiter the OK sign, and he will pour around the table. Cheers!
Look for Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s Restaurant Award Winners of 2008, our picks for America’s premier wine-driven restaurants, announced in the upcoming February issue or search our online restaurant awards database.
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