Admit it. When your waiter or wine steward removes the cork from a bottle of fine wine with a smooth, soundless fwoop, then hands the cork to you, your inner child cringes and wants to run away, doesn't it? But fear not! The easiest way to get out of sniffing or even handling the cork is to keep your hands tucked neatly at the sides of your plate, or at the very least, keep one hand lightly grasping your wine glass, in eager anticipation of that first taste test and keep the other hand out of sight.
"Presenting the cork is wine nonsense, a ritual invented by captains and sommeliers. The wine snob doesn't resent ritual. There is infinite ritual in the etiquette of serving wine. But most of it at least hints at style or purpose. Placing an unsightly cork on the tablecloth hints at absurdity." Leonard S. Bernstein