Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > France >
Nov 18, 2008 08:31 PM

Corkage Fee in France?

It is not an unusual practice in the San Francisco Bay Area to bring a bottle of your wine to a restaurant and pay a corkage fee ($20 - $40) to open. Is it common in France or Paris?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I don't believe it is - I don't recall visiting any restaurant that would appear to do it. Wine is freely available in restaurants, cafes and bars so there is no real need to BYO. Obviously it saves money for the diner, but also reduces revenue for the restauranteur.

    My understanding is that BYO grew up in countries were there are limitations on the availability/number of liqueur licenses or where these licenses cost a lot of money and are thus uneconomic for small (low cost) restaurants. I don't think these issues exist in France.

    1 Reply
    1. re: PhilD

      A few places actually practice BYOB -- they're often run by some Amercians guys, by the way. Spring jumps to mind but I know there are others. It's called "droit de bouchon".

    2. It is not common practice as PhilD and Souphie already mentioned. You can however negociate the 'droit de bouchon' in advance if you want to bring your own special bottle.
      It wouldn't make sense for an ordinary wine though.
      I did it a while ago at l'Astrance (but we also ordered wine a la carte).

      2 Replies
      1. re: Theobroma

        It's France. A lot can be negociated. Little can be guaranteed.

        1. re: souphie

          We brought our own bottles to Thierry Marx at Ch Cordeillan-Bages, and also to La Tupina in Bordeaux. We agreed to buy a few bottles from their list in exchange for being able to bring our own wines which would have cost 2 arms and a leg on their lists...