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Oct 22, 2006 10:53 PM

B.Y.O.W. in San Diego

Any good restaurants in the San Deigo area that allow you to bring your own bottle of wine? Are the corking fees reasonable?

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  1. Ba Ren is a great Szechwan restaurant in Clairemont Mesa. There is no corkage fee.

    4957 Diane Ave
    San Diego, CA 92117

    1. Almost every decent restaurant in town will allow you to bring your own wine. I can't think of anyplace that has ever refused to open a bottle I've brought, and I always bring a bottle. Of course, common sense applies...usually only nicer restaurants with wine lists have corkage policies. Most corkage ranges in the $10-15 range, though some are higher.

      It's always nice to inquire about the corkage policy when making your reservation, to save any embarrassment. If I forget, then I'll inquire before I'm seated so as not to make the waitperson uncomfortable. And I always bring a backup, as it's just not cool to bring a wine that is on the restaurant's list. Most places consider their corkage policy a protection to keep diners from bringing in two buck Chuck or other inexpensive/bargain wines. So take a decent bottle, and you'll rarely have a problem.

      Oh, and always share a taste with the staff. Just a nice thing to do, and half the time the corkage will disappear. And sending a taste back to the chef has sometimes yielded good food benefits.

      I've seen a flyer around recently that lists about 20 or so restaurants that will allow you up to 2 bottles free, if you bring the flyer with you. A great little marketing tool to target us wine geeks.

      A great place to take wine is Winesellar and Brasserie. Last time I was there, no corkage (except Saturday, I think), and they don't care if the wine is on their list. They said they got tired of all the issues, and just want people to have an enjoyable dining experience without worrying about it. Gotta love that.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rotie77

        WE took our own to VAGABOND the other day and it was a $10 corkage. Pacifica Del MAr sometimes offers buy one of theirs and they will not charge corkage on yours.