October 20, 2006
A Beautiful Wine...Not

Among his other talents, Russell Crowe has a mighty keen sense of smell. From two feet off he can tell whether a wine is "corked," meaning its aroma has been killed by a cork tainted with potent, unwelcome chemical compounds, reports the Web site All Headline News. "It is an Australian wine that I have had a lot of experience with so when it was opened and brought to the table I could smell from two foot away that it had been corked, it had gone off," Crowe is quoted as telling BANG Showbiz.

The wine was one of the world's more highly regarded, a $4,400 bottle of the 1964 Penfolds Grange that Crowe had ordered at the London restaurant Mirabelle. The upshot of the report was that Crowe's waiter didn't agree with Crowe's assessment of the wine and initially balked at replacing it. Eventually, however, the restaurant fetched another bottle, which Crowe sanctioned and enjoyed.

Around five percent of wine is believed marred by poor corks, accounting in part for the rising popularity of wines with screwcaps.

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