BYOB in Kauai
Hello, I'm going to Kauai for 6 days and looking at some of the other posts, several restaurants seem to be BYOB. Is this more common there? Should I plan to stop at a wine shop when I arrive to have a handful of wines that I can take to dinner? What is the normal charge for BYOB at restaurants?
I'll be staying at the Cliffs in Princeville (North Shore) for most of the time I'm there, if that makes a difference. Thanks in advance!
We bring our wine with us on all of our vacations (including Kauai, from which we just returned last week). At any UPS or Mailboxes Etc. store you can pick up a case shipping box - it is fitted with styrofoam inserts into which you slip your bottles. The airline will have you sign a waiver to limit its liability and you just check it like any other piece of luggage. We've done this more times than I can count over the years and have never lost a bottle to breakage or pilferage. This is a really nice alternative to keeping your fingers crossed that your destination will have a store with a decent wine selection.
With that said however there is a very good wine shop in Koloa Town which is a couple of miles inland from Poipu - obviously with your staying on the north shore it would require going out of your way. We dined out only a few times while there but each place we went to (from a casual grille-pub to Tidepools at the Hyatt) welcomed BYOB, and didn't even charge corkage.
I do not know of any BYOB, but am sure that there are some. Even at the Plantation Gardens, I stayed with their limited and over-priced wine list, rather than bring my own.
One thing you might want to do is stop by the Costco, south of the airport by about 10 miles, before you head up to Princeville. They were yet to open, when we were there (missed it by about a week), but the selections on O`ahu and Mau`i are fair, and the prices are good. Maybe this new store will have a higher-end selection. If you are going for something beyond wine, I cannot help you.
As far as corkage charges go, I've seen them from $5/btl to $50'btl. When I do BYOW, I always call first, then offer the chef and the sommelier a glass, and have never been charged, but these have all been wines that are NOT on their list and are from my cellar. Never done it in Hawai`i, as my cellar is 3000 miles away, and I don't like to travel with a case, or two, of wine, unless I'm bringing it back.