Corkage is a cost paid by restaurants to guests who bring their own wine bottle to enjoy there. Some jurisdictions in the United States allow BYOB (or, as we like to put it, BYOW), but why would you pay a wine corkage fee to drink your own wine? Here are our top five reasons why you should pay a corkage charge if you can, and three reasons why you shouldn’t.
What exactly are Wine Corkage Fees?
Corkage culture is not new to the United States, having been discussed on wine discussion boards and at many wine happy hours or dinners. Many people feel that bringing their own bottle (BYOB, or in this instance BYOW, bringing your own wine) is an intrinsic “Wine Lovers Bill of Rights,” similar to the right to vote in the United States. But what exactly is wine corkage, and why and when should you pay it?
If you live near a restaurant that accepts BYOW, the decision becomes whether to pay the Corkage cost or not. Here are five reasons why we believe you should… And why you should not bring a bottle of wine and pay a corkage price.
5 Top Facts About Wine Corkage You Don’t Know :
1. The restaurant does not sell wine and invites diners to bring their own. We enjoy these eateries and frequently prepare ahead of time what we will eat to choose what we will bring. Many restaurants publish daily deals on their websites and Facebook pages, which we like to look at before deciding what wine to bring. We’ve also been to a few restaurants that don’t serve wine or other alcoholic beverages but work with a nearby wine shop to provide a solid selection for the day’s menu. These make for an excellent combination because the chef and wine specialist collaborated to best prepare you for your dining experience.
2. Commemorate your birthday by opening a bottle of the Birthday Year. This is usually a good way to spend an evening. A word of caution: the older the cork, the older the bottle of wine. Also, if the bottle has not been properly stored, ensure that the person opening the bottle is aware of the possible risks. Finally, don’t be hesitant to ask, “Would you feel more comfortable if I opened that cork?”
3. A unique occasion. We recently hosted a meal for a couple at one of our favorite places (when I say favorite we are there like once a week, and we drink a lot of their wine too). My husband wanted to give the pair an unique bottle of wine as a thank you for all of the hard work the guy had put in at work. The bottle had been presented to us, and my spouse decided this was the time.
We had saved this special bottle of wine for our wedding anniversary. One of our favorites, and 2007 was a banner year for Opus One and us.
4. As a topic of conversation- YES! That’s exactly what I stated. We brought a bottle of wine with us that tells a narrative because we know the restaurant won’t have it. It is frequently from our own or a friend’s trips. When eating with someone you don’t typically go out with or it’s your first time in this type of setting, it’s the ideal occasion.
5. You are familiar with the restaurant and its wine list. In this category, we carry our own bottle for two reasons. Either way, we know the wine selection is restricted and of poor quality. We have a couple of these places, which are generally more mom-and-pop establishments. Where the meal is great and we return again and again We frequently know the proprietors and have discussed the wine choices with them.
One restaurant near our house, for example, says that wine is their weakness. They don’t think it’s worth the work to expand their choices, so they welcomed us to bring our own. We always raise a drink to the proprietor.
Another important argument is that the wine’s quality isn’t always superb and is sometimes destroyed due to improper storage. One of our favorite restaurants keeps the wine in a window that gets bright sunlight all day. Sure, it looks good, but the wine doesn’t sell quickly enough to keep the quality up. This occurred to us recently when visiting Puerto Rico. The wine was housed in a cool aesthetic environment, yet it was directly exposed to the sun in a humid area of the restaurant.
We expected the waiter to go back and retrieve a bottle from another area, but he didn’t! We requested a different bottle of wine because the one we liked was more costly. The waiter stated that there was no other bottle available and (kindly) advised that my husband walk two doors down to pick up the identical wine for only a corkage price. I’m sure they receive that a lot.