Wine Corks: Skip the Sniff
Little information about a wine can be gathered from the cork. "The only thing that's revealed is your naivete," says Willie Gluckstern, compiler of countless New York City restaurant wine lists and author of The Wine Avenger (Simon & Schuster, $14, amazon.com).
There is a way, however, to determine if a bottle of wine is "corked" and therefore undrinkable: The wine may smell moldy and have an astringent taste. You are entitled to refuse an unsatisfactory bottle in a restaurant and to be reimbursed for one by a wine store.