I'm no cock smeller...I mean cork. Are you?
8. When the waiter presents the bottle LOOK AT THE LABEL! Sometimes waiters make mistakes. My bistro has several wines of differing vintages from the same maker. Sometimes a ’97 is a shitload more expensive than an ‘01! You drink it you buy it. Caveat emptor pal.
9. DO NOT SMELL THE CORK! - When I see someone do this I know I’m dealing with a complete amateur. Guess what you’re gonna smell? Cork! You want to feel the cork to make sure it’s intact. Is the bottom of the cork moistened with wine? Good. That means it was stored properly. Make sure the name on the cork matches the name on the bottle. Sometimes unscrupulous bastards put cheap wine in old wine bottles and re-cork them! Is there mold on the cork? That’s a bad sign. But smelling the cork, in the vast majority of cases, tells you nothing. (Full disclosure – I used to smell the cork before I was a waiter.)
(Thanks Kim Leng)