I just posted this as a response to Ron D's post, but I thought this interesting situation warranted a new discussion. Anything like this ever happen to you?
I found a pretty good price on some bottles of '07 Pontet-Canet last night at a large retailer, so I scooped up a few. I popped one not long after I got home, with the intentions of following the wine over a couple of days. I could tell immediately that the wine was badly corked. Just for my own piece of mind, I left it in the decanter overnight in case it was a funk that would blow off. Low and behold, nope...corked.
Today, I brought the bottle & its contents back to the store to swap it out. Keep in mind, by this point, the wine smells like a piece of wet newspaper that was used to clean a moldy shower. I kid you not, this is conversation that followed.
Me: "Hi, I just spoke to you on the phone about swapping out this corked wine."
Sales Dude: "How do you know it's corked?"
Me: "Smell it. Doesn't it smell like a musty, wet newspaper to you?"
Sales Dude: "That's how Pontet smells. If you swap another bottle, it'll smell the same."
Me: "No. That's how a corked bottle of Pontet smells. I'm a big fan of the producer, and have enjoyed quite a few bottles."
Sales Dude: "Well, every bottle of French wine I have had, has that smell."
Me: "Have you ever had a bottle of Pontet-Canet?"
Sales Dude: "Well...no. But, they all smell about the same."
Me: "So, you're saying that every French wine you have had, and even the one's you haven't tried smell like a musty newspaper?"
Sales Dude: "Well, I'm not sure..."
Me: "Right...I'm sorry that every French wine you have tried has been corked. Can I switch this Pontet out for a new one?"
Sales Dude: "Sure."