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When a small sip is a taste of anxiety

Ms O'Neal sampling a bottle in private in New York on Feb 4. She no longer asks patrons to do likewise before pouring, noting that most customers find it more stressful than helpful.


WHEN Eric Hiatt, a litigator in New York, ate recently at Italienne, a new restaurant in Chelsea, he was confounded by what did not happen.

Mr Hiatt, a wine lover, ordered a bottle of Ronco Severo ribolla gialla, and at first all seemed as usual. A sommelier presented the

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