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SF corkage fees

sfbecky Sep 5, 2007 09:47 PM

my husband and I took another couple out to dinner at Aquerello, and they are into wine and brought a couple bottles,,,I'm not familiar at all with corkage fees, because we never byo wine, but I was surprised that the charges were $50 for the 1st bottle and $100 for the second bottle, I read up on corkage fees on the wine board, but it seems to be a very regional thing. What is the scene in SF? And I'm sure it's a whole nother trip in Napa,

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  1. baron45 RE: sfbecky Sep 5, 2007 09:56 PM

    In general, SF and the Bay Area are BYO friendly. There are a few restaurants that forbid it, or charge high corkage fees. Several will allow you to BYO if the wine isn't already on their list, while others will waive the corkage fee if you purchase one another btl from their list. Aquerello's fee is high, but it is a top-tier restaurant.

    2 Replies
    1. re: baron45
      russkar RE: baron45 Sep 5, 2007 10:28 PM

      French Laundry is top tier and Michelin Starred, Acquerello isn't in the same category and it's Corkage fee is outrageous.

      1. re: baron45
        Patrickaitken RE: baron45 May 14, 2009 09:22 AM

        Check out www.sanfranciscocorkagefees.com if you want to learn more about BYO options of restaurants in the city. The site will also list the free corkage specials of the day for restaurants that offer it.

      2. Robert Lauriston RE: sfbecky Sep 6, 2007 10:11 AM

        Acquerello has an amazing wine list:


        The shockingly high corkage is presumably intended to make bringing your own prohibitively expensive. Seems perfectly reasonable to me given the expense and effort they've put into the list. There's a long discussion of corkage fees inspired by a series of SF Chron articles in this Food Media & News topic:


        Acquerello has one Michelin star, for what it's worth, which is discussed in this Food Media & News topic:


        6 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston
          norjah RE: Robert Lauriston Sep 6, 2007 10:32 AM

          Just a warning Robert that the 5-course menu is gone and replaced with a 7-course menu with wine which is $162! While the cost isn't disproportionate to the meal, I was sad to see this change.

          1. re: norjah
            Robert Lauriston RE: norjah Sep 6, 2007 10:41 AM

            Yow, that's a big price increase. Last I heard the five-course prix fixe was $110 with wine.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston
              osho RE: Robert Lauriston Sep 6, 2007 10:43 AM

              I think we paid $120 per person in April 2007.A $52 increase is indeed huge.

              1. re: osho
                norjah RE: osho Sep 6, 2007 12:06 PM

                They've added two more courses and wine pairings for that increase.

                You can still pick your own 5-course meal for $82 and I'm sure that they would be happy to pair wines by the glass, but I will really miss that $100-ish (not sure if it was $110 or $120, I remember when it was $99!) 5 course with wine. My husband and I considered that one of our reasonable indulgences. $162 pushes that to an extraordinary indulgence.

                Also, who needs 7 friggin courses?

                1. re: norjah
                  Robert Lauriston RE: norjah Sep 6, 2007 12:12 PM

                  They're probably shooting for a second Michelin star.

            2. re: norjah
              Robert Lauriston RE: norjah Sep 6, 2007 10:43 AM

              Adding a link.

              Acquerello Restaurant
              1722 Sacramento St., San Francisco, CA 94109

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