A dinner guest gave us a premier cru Burgundy that she got for her wedding in the 1980s and we opened it that night. She was oohing and aaahing about how "ethereal" it was, but the wine was so corked that my wife and I could hardly choke back a single sip. We left it in our glasses but didn't speak up. What should we have done?
It's hard enough to send back a corked wine in a restaurant; the situation you've described must have felt impossible. Although you can easily return opened wines without a bill and almost no questions asked at government liquor stores - hell, you can even trade in the case of Little Penguin your father-in-law gave you - this wine was clearly important to your dinner guest. If she was enjoying it, you were right to let her do so.
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Chris Nuttall-Smith is a food writer and restaurant columnist.