Yesterday I was at my favourite old wine bar. I bought the cheapest bottle of red wine (which incidentally wasn’t so cheap at £17.50/ 27USD). The barman put the bottle on a tray for me. I thought I’d open it there in front of him. I was shocked as it was a screw top and the top was tightly on but the top’s seal had already been twisted broken.
In a surprised voice I told him that it was already open. He assured me that he’d just opened it. The benefit of the doubt was given. I took the tray to the table and poured a glass for my visiting Italian friend, and obviously I didn’t mention about the top.
She immediately said how the wine had been watered down and was probably a mix of left overs. I then mentioned about it having been ‘pre-opened’.
When a bottle is a screw top, what is the logic in the waiter twisting it slightly for you, just to beak the seal and then not even remove the lid, or pour any glasses, but instead tighten it up again?! makes no sense to me.
He definitely didn’t open it in front of me to see.
So… I took it back and complained. He tried to quickly give me another identical bottle. I laughed when he put it down in front of me with the seal broken again. I took the opportunity to change it for a slightly more expensive wine. Again, he grabbed it from the shelf behind him, so had his back to me, just as he was turning to face me he opened it, so again I can’t check for myself that it was sealed, as it was already untwisted when he put it down in front of me.
I find that so wrong. The waiter should show the bottle intact and then open it. if it’s a screw top there is no need for him to break the seal for you, especially when he doesn’t even bother to fully open it or pour a glass!
Apart from the obvious one: don’t go there again!
Oh, and this Italian friend mentioned how when she last visited the bar had refused to serve her tap water to eat with her food. They said they didn’t have any! It’s actually illegal for a bar to serve alcohol and deny tap water, but they’d obviously correctly ascertained that she was a tourist and so wanted her to buy mineral water.
Any thoughts? Can I report them? Are they meant to show the bottle is intact before opening it?