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Cork didn't match the wine: explain

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Cork didn't match the wine: explain

MC Slim JB | Jul 4, 2006 06:19 PM

As mentioned in my recent post on the William Tell Inn in West Alton, NH (New England board), I had a puzzling experience with wine at dinner.

We were served an unspoiled but otherwise disappointing 2003 Cotes du Rhone for about $30. The mystery: I happened to notice halfway through the bottle that the extracted cork read "2005 Châteauneuf-du-Pape" from the same vinter. How is that possible? The wine was opened tableside. We enjoyed the rest of the meal too much to investigate further, but it was odd.

Does anyone have a reasonable explanation for this? My theories -- nefarious rebottling or false labelling by the restaurant or the winemaker -- seem a little paranoid for a small Swiss restaurant in rural New Hampshire whose wine list is short and modest, few bottles above $50, mid-point around $30.

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