Do Corks Matter?
A few weeks ago, while having dinner with a whole pack of new friends at Odeon, I ran into my first-ever corking problem with a bottle of wine ordered at a New York restaurant. Pretty good bottle of wine, by the way, the best value on Odeon's list: Casa Lapostolle's '97 "Cuvee Alexandre" cabernet sauvignon, $33 ($20 at Union Square Wine & Spirits). I'm thoroughly enjoying a lot of what Casa Lapostolle, a Chilean winery, has to offer right now. Their sauvignon blanc is terrific, and cheap, zesty and refreshing. But back to the point. The cork. Our waitress couldn't get it out. She was using the famously unreliable "waiter's friend" folding lever-pull corkscrew (you know, the one that resembles a pocket knife and requires some practice to correctly get down through the center of the cork), and, as far as I could tell, had shredded the wood in the process of extracting it. She then did the right thing?apologized and headed back into the restaurant (we were eating outside) to get a fresh bottle, which she sensibly opened?probably with a failsafe screwpull corkscrew?before returning.