I was at an upscale Cleveland restaurant for a wine event. The reception started with a nice California sparkling wine. The server approaches me with a freshly open bottle and pours me a glass. It reeks of cork and I let her know as she pours a splash into my friend’s glass. The server apologizes and takes the two glasses away (my full glass and my friends glass with about an oz of wine in it). She returns with a new bottle, 2 glasses and tells me that this wine smells fine. Curiously, one of the glasses has about an oz of wine in it, and, at first, I thought she meant she opened and checked the new bottle for cork taint. But as she poured the wine, I realize no wine had been poured from the bottle, as well, the glass she gave me was my friend’s glass that she had removed. I was so shocked at what she did; I was speechless! So now I have my friends glass filled with 1oz of corked wine and 3oz good wine.
The owner of a very upscale restaurant sends over a bottle of 1990 Dunn Cabernet Howell Mountain for my guest and me to enjoy; A very generous gift. The GM brings the wine over in a cradle and carefully presents the 16 year old wine and leaves it on the table for the server to open. There are no service trolleys or side station in the restaurant to decant from so the staff is trained to use a tray jack. I have seen them do this in the past and it is well done. Unfortunately this new server was not properly trained in decanting. He sets up the tray jack with decanter and candle to my right which is technically correct except that his butt is now invading the space of the table next us. I can see the guest is getting agitated as the server is cramped for space and suggest that he may be more comfortable decanting from the head of the table where there is plenty of space. He resets the tray jack but instead of setting up tight on the table he sets up in the middle of traffic. As servers try and move around him, he removes the bottle from the cradle stands it up right and begins to pick the capsule off while trying to make pleasant conversation.