Is this wine undrinkable? Who is to say?

winetastingrestaurant.jpgYou are at an upmarket restaurant and have ordered an expensive wine. As you taste the wine, both you and your companion are disappointed with the way it tastes, to the point that you suspect that it is not sound. The sommelier, hovering within earshot, has overheard you, or has read your body language, because he comes up to you and himself has tasted it.
Kings of old had people taste their food before they ate, but Raghu Bahadur wonders if it’s a good idea for a sommelier to taste the wine before its drunk?

Are you surprised? Shocked? Perhaps, but not as much as the person who actually endured the experience. The incident was recounted by a New York Times columnist, who then went on to enumerate the views expressed by wine experts, sommeliers at top establishments, wine and beverage executives, and other professionals in the trade on the practice of tasting the wine before serving it to the customer. They came out overwhelmingly in favour of the practice, which the columnist also supported, the predominant reason being that it serves as a safety measure to prevent bad or even slightly off-colour wine from reaching the customer.

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