Spit Happens #56 – Wine Corkage

corkageI love wine. Remember me saying that? Well, I also love bringing my wine to a restaurant and enjoying it with different foods that I might not want to cook at home. For the uninitiated, this is called corkage. Restaurants ( for a fee) will allow you to bring your own wine and allow it to be served in their restaurant. For many years this was not legal however a change in liquor regulations in the summer of 2012. A restaurant can charge any amount they want or chose not to offer corkage as well. They must be the ones to open and serve the bottle and you can take any remaining wine home should it not be consumed ( make sure it’s in the trunk or very back of your vehicle when you leave). I think that corkage could be a powerful tool for restaurants but it is underutilized. Restaurants see this concept of corkage as diminishing their opportunity for profit. I see it as a way to increase sales and even out your business through the entire week.

  • How about free or discounted corkage on slow nights? Monday or Tuesdays. ( see below )
  • Maybe busy nights they could ask you to buy a bottle off the list and the second bottle could have a corkage charge applied.
  • How about corkage for slow lunch days and early reservations (before 6pm)?

Too many restaurants see corkage as an all or nothing proposition, my three ideas are just a start. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. A couple of pieces of advice I would like to add, if the wine list for the restaurant is online to make sure you aren’t bringing a wine already on the list as that is poor form, also tip your server a bit better % since they aren’t charging you big bucks for the wine.

The following restaurants offer corkage.

Thanks for your time.

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Remember Spit Happens, tell your friends, drink great wine and eat great food.

David Lancelot