Your NOSE always KNOWS

I’m sure you’ve been in this scenario before.  You are out with friends and everyone decides to order a bottle of wine.  The sommelier brings over the bottle and pours you a taste.   You smell and you taste but something’s not quite right.   You look up and see the sommelier looking for your approval and what do you say as you are not 100% sure if the wine is off or not. The only thing you know is that this does not smell or taste like wine.
As a sommelier, this does happen and the guest is always right and even if they weren’t I wouldn’t argue.  However, I do encounter people that are not that confident about wine and tell me, “Well, it’s okay.”  Whenever a guest tells me it is just “okay”, I always ask, “Does something seem a bit off to you?” or if it’s the second bottle, “Did it taste the same as the first?”  Once the guest sees that I am on their side they become very confident in responding, “Something seems different and I’m just not sure”, or “No, it did not taste them same.”  Usually at this point the guest will seek confirmation through his or her friends at the table and then someone will hand me the glass to smell.  When they do, I do actually smell the wine and sure enough the guest is right–the wine is off due usually due to cork taint or oxidation (too much air getting in the bottle).
My point is that no guest should ever feel uncomfortable in returning a bottle of wine because your nose really does know. Whether it’s the first or second bottle and never be afraid to say something because more than likely you will be right and nothing is worse than drinking a bad bottle of wine!

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