The verdict is out! Smelling the cork of a wine does not tell you much about it. This according to Adam Teeter on Vinepair.com, who calls this tradition “a myth that has floated around the wine snob world for decades”.
Where did the tradition come from? From Bordeaux, apparently. It is one of the world’s wine regions producing the most expensive wines and people used to counterfeit bottles and fake labels. Winemakers countered this by creating unique inscriptions on the corks inside bottles of legitimate chateaus, and by inspecting the cork, you could tell whether the bottle was a fake or not.
So next time you’re in a restaurant, just ask the waiter to pour the wine!