"Have you ever returned a bottle?"
"I don't think so."
The wine list at Olivia's is nice. Sparkling and whites on one side and reds on the other; arranged on single spaced line by weight rather than region or variety or price. Lots from Italy, some from France and Spain, a few New World; all new to me.
We ordered two appetizers and two main courses: mussels in a roasted garlic pesto sauce and beef carpaccio with toasted capers, shaved Parmesan and arugula; pork sugo and beet spaghetti.
"How about a white with no oak and a little buttery?"
I ordered a verdicchio from Jezi.
"Woman have finer palates. Why don't you taste it?"
A swirl, a taste and a quizzical look.
"There's a lot going on here. I have never had this before. It's okay."
A mountain of mussels arrived along with a platter of carpaccio. The mussels could easily have been a main course, especially with the three wedges of toasted foccacia to soak up the broth. Better if shared at a table for four. The toasted capers added magic to the excellent carpaccio.
"The wine tastes... musty."
"I'm not getting that. Let's let it open a little more."
The pork and the spaghetti were served.
"I really don't like this wine."
"You were right. Smell the cork."
John, our waiter, confirmed the bottle was indeed corked and offered to replace it or simply remove it from our bill. So there. Sometimes a bottle does go back. John handled the matter as naturally as he picked up and folded a napkin.