Corks and Labels

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When you order a bottle of wine at a restaurant the waiter should hand you the cork.  There are a few things you can gauge by looking at the cork.  You can check to see that it isn’t completely dry or that the wine hasn’t leaked all the way through.  But something that I didn’t know was that you are also supposed to check the label on the cork to make sure that it matches the label on the bottle.  This is probably mostly a problem of the past, but crooked business owners used to apply the label of expensive bottles of wine to cheaper bottles to make a larger profit.  The wineries caught on to this, and to protect against this practice started labeling the cork, which cannot simply be swapped out.

When wine is bottled it sits on the shelf without a label until they know where they are going to ship it.  Then depending on its destination, it is given a label in the appropriate language and with the appropriate requirements.  On rare occasions, a winery will make a labeling error.  If you notice this error you should mention it to the waiter, but you might have actually received an error in your favor.  In this case, the waiter should be gracious enough to let you benefit from your good fortune and allow you to keep the bottle.

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