The restaurant had an excellent wine by the glass selection and it was with anticipation that I watched the bartender pour me a glass of a lovely Rhône rosé, the 2005 Au Petit Bonhuer, Les Pallières Rosé, out of a bottle over two thirds gone. I lifted the brilliant light salmon colored wine to my nose and deeply inhaled a noseful of dirty, moldy aromas - the wine was corked. Upon informing the bartender, she put the bottle (yes, the bottle) to her nose and made a funny face at me. After all, it had been good enough for the other three people for whom she had poured a glass. Fortunately she brought me another glass without comment and indeed this is a charming wine. Bright, racy and substantial, it was a great match with some very fresh, rare roast salmon.
Industry estimates say that 5%+ (some say much higher) of all cork finished wines are spoiled by TCA infected corks and nowhere near that many bottles are returned to restaurants and wholesalers. That of course means that the vast majority of these faulted wines are consumed, with the drinker either not paying attention or thinking that producer makes crappy wine. Take a second to really smell a wine, which should smell of fresh clean fruit, not old moldy books.