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Nov 8, 2006 02:44 PM

Is corkage legal in Florida?

This is a Florida-only question. Was hearing a lot of buzz about corkage prices elsewhere, etc., and I didn't know if you could bring your own wine to restaurants in Florida. Only because I just found out (with the help of the Wine board) the name of my favorite Riesling, which I had only known by the picture on the bottle.

Where is it allowed, or is it? Only at BYOB places?

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  1. It's legal and prevalent. Most restaurants will allow you to bring your own bottle(s) and charge a fee (anywhere from $10 to $25). The one big exception I saw was Bern's, but their wine list is the size of a phone book and chances are whatever you're bringing, they have. Some patrons had brought in a bottle of Cakebread (something you can pretty much get anywhere) and the sommelier had to explain to them that the restaurant did not allow outside wine to be consumed. The patrons were upset, but it was their own fault for not checking with the establishment first.

    When taking your own wine, just remember a few protocols like calling prior and asking if the restaurant allows corkage, not taking a wine that already appears on their wine list, and if it's an especially good or rare bottle, offer a taste to the sommelier.

    1. Whether it is legal is still an issue. Most hotels do not allow groups to bring in their own wine, citing a state law that prohibits it.

      Some attorneys I spoke with said the same law could/does apply to individual sales, and there are a few restaurants in Orlando that do not allow it.

      However, for the most part, it is a restaurant decision. As mentioned, there is some etiquette involved.

      Here's a link to the story I wrote about the subject back in Sept. Come back to me if you have questions.

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      1. I have seen a few restaurants that do have a corkage fee but it is stated that it is the price of the least expensive bottle wine listed.