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Jun 20, 2009 06:59 AM

No Corkage "rules"

hi all

my sister & i are taking our mom to dinner next sunday at a restaurant that has an ad in the local paper every week stating "sunday-no corkage"

now tell me, what are the "rules" ? ( to not piss anyone off! )

i started drinking malbec rose last summer and LOVE it, but its not like its some fancy rare bottle. i can pick up a bottle for $15 at my fave wine store in town.

does it have to be some rare wine?

what if we each have a cocktail first?

we WILL be chowing alot of food & WILL tip good.

on one hand im nervous to do it because i dont want to seem cheap, but on the other hand i feel they put that ad in the paper every week...the economy sucks right now...restaurants NEED customers, right?

what do you think? dont hold back if you think im totally wrong :)

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  1. You can bring whatever you want to drink at a restaurant. I don't think it matters what the bottle is, how much it cost at the liquor store or anything. I am also positive that they would gladly serve you a cocktail to start (for which you would pay list price) and then serve your bottle of wine with the dinner (for which you would pay no fee).

    1. Don't sweat the small stuff.

      Bring anything from ripple to chateau l'expensive.

      Order what you like, enjoy the food and the company and give the server a higher than normal tip for the wine service.

      1. Niccole,
        Does this restaurant actually have a liqour license? If not, you may not be able to order cocktails first. A corkage charge is to cover the restaurants costs of glasses, ice, service etc. If they have a liquour license, it may also account for some of their lost profit when you bring you own alcohol.
        In some states it is not legal to bring your own into a licensed establishment.

        Here it seems the restaurant is trying to boost their Sunday business, by offering to provide the glasses and service at no charge for your brought along alcohol.

        Enjoy the bargain, but you should increase the servers tip a few dollars for the service.

        3 Replies
        1. re: bagelman01

          it does have a full liquor license....had a few $13 martinis there last time.

          1. re: bagelman01

            bagelman: in some states it's illegal to bring your own into an UNlicensed place, for example Oregon.

          2. Ask for a copy of the wine list and make sure the bottle you want to bring is not on the list. It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive, just not on their wine list.

            1. If a restaurant advertises free corkage, feel free to bring almost anything you like. The only 'rules' are to not bring something on the restaurant's list, and don't forget to tip the server as if you had purchased the bottle in the restaurant. If it's an unusual bottle, it is a nice gesture (though not at all required) to offer a small taste to the server or wine steward.