If you find yourself in a restaurant, seated with a glass of wine that sports top notes of vinegar, rotting cork or old wet cardboard, we have some pointers on getting a speedy replacement without making any kind of scene or coming off as even the slightest bit ungracious.
First, hand it to a dining companion, provided he or she is not a child and enjoys wine. Ask if tastes "off." If it doesn't, it simply might be your palate rejecting your adventurous order. You might not like all wines, particularly if you've never encountered a sulfuric rosé or sauternes with extra noble rot. Good instinct with orderering something new, though. If your fellow diner agrees there's something not right, get the server involved. Like telling a bartender you have an off-tasting beer (indicating a problem with the keg or tapline), the server would want to know if a bottle of wine is spoiled.
Instead of starting with "I think," however, try:
"It seems this wine has turned or there's something else wrong with it."
Remember, the bottle of wine didn't actually cost the restaurant $40 and it's on them to report off-tasting bottles to the the wine distributor. It's something any establishment with a good wine list takes seriously, so while it's not going to be your favorite part of the evening, you're helping out. Contrary to what you might fear, the diners around you will stop neither their business nor wine-drinking, and you will get a glass that does that steak justice.
More etiquette on Food Republic: