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Dec 14, 2009 11:31 AM

BYOB in Paris.

I'm wondering whether its an acceptable practice in any Parisian restaurants? I wouldn't think of bringing my own wine to a three star restaurant in Paris(although I would like to). Are there any restaurantas where this is considered acceptable? I have no problem with paying corkage. Even the $90 that a restaurant like Per Se charges, makes bringing one's high end wine a bargain.

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  1. I don't have the specific answer, however do you already have high end wines in Paris? If you don't you may find that a decent restaurant is the best way to access them as many have extensive cellars and will have have a good selection of well aged wines. A good example would be "L'Angle du Faubourg" the bistro offshoot of Taillevent, the grand old dame of French Paris restaurants. I believe they share the cellar with their big sister so you can access great wine in a more humble restaurant.

    1. Never seen it (except once when I brought in an exceptional bottle for 3 of us and the staff to have a sip of). Why not just go to a wine shop with food or wine bistro or such like and pick what you want and pay the corkage there: Les Papilles, Louis Vins, etc etc.

      John Talbott

      4 Replies
      1. re: John Talbott

        John, I knew it didn't exist - the very thought of it seems absurd in France - but I was wondering about "les épiceries-restaurants" (I'm also trying to find out current info on these and had started up a thread about them, to little avail). I know we've eaten at at least one where one of les convives paid for a likely bottle on the resto shelves and they opened it.

        French people here in Québec always ask jokingly whether one also brings one's food, but soon settle in when they discover the price of wine here even before restaurant markups!

        1. re: lagatta

          The style you describe is around. Off the top of my head there is "Juveniles Wine Bar" and there was "Racine". I say "was" because the owner/chef left, he was at La Cremerie which also does/did this I think. Both these had wines on shelves with the retail and in-house price. In-house having a modest mark-up on retail. I also think Bellota-Bellotta does this but someone else needs to confirm that.

          1. re: lagatta

            " I was wondering about "les épiceries-restaurants"
            Oh sure, there are many of these: Les Papilles, Chapeau Melon, Aux Provinces to name a few.

            1. re: John Talbott

              Last time I was there, les Papilles charged a 7-euro supplement for wines consumed during meals.
              However, Le Bouclier de Bacchus does not charge extra at all.

        2. I've never seen it, either. And I don't think it's a huge bargain to buy a bottle in Paris to take to a restaurant, even if you could.

          Here in US, you always need to check to ensure the bottle (however high end it might be) is NOT on the list of the restaurant in question. I should think that might be more difficult to do in France.

          Many posters here advise of restaurants that have great old wine lists at good bargains. Why not just choose one of those restaurants and luxuriate in their ambiance as well as their wine list?

          1. Never seen it done in Paris or thought of it, but you can always ask ahead... "Droit de bouchon" is the French for "corkage".

            5 Replies
            1. re: monchique

              Its really not all that important - certainly not near important enough to embarrass either myself or the staff at any restaurant. I was just wondering about the customs.
              In NYC, I pretty much eat only at BYOB restaurants. I don't mind high corkage prices if the quality of the restaurant justifies it. I've found that many, if not the majority of high end restaurants in New York do allow BYOB at varying corkage fees, which I am more than satisfied to pay. Its almost always a bargain to do so.

              1. re: porkpa

                I thought about it last night, and wondered in what state your special bottle (as I assume you would be taking some very special wine) would fare after being shaken in the taxi to the restaurant as opposed to the same bottle being nicely decanted by the sommelier from the restaurant's cellar? I would not do it with any of my decent wines, unless they could be delivered several days ahead to the restaurant and rested... Food for thoughts

                1. re: monchique

                  I'll give you an example of how it might be used. Last year we and two other couples took a mediterranean cruise on Silversea. About ten days before the cruise we shipped a case of top reds and half a case of comparable whites to our hotel in Venice. When the ship docked, we brought the wine aboard. We ended up drinking 15 of the 18 bottles onboard. We left the remaining three bottles to our extremely gracious sommelier. At first he wouldn't take them saying that it was far too much. It really wasn't. If we had bought the equivalent wines from their elite winelist we likely would have paid at least double and maybe close to triple what the whole exercise cost us. (note-ordinary wines which are okay come free on Silversea). We all had large stashes of quality wine which needed to be consumed, so we took that route. We were very happy that we did.
                  I can see doing something similar when visiting a city which is BYOB friendly if one were planning on visiting for any length of time.

                  1. re: porkpa

                    Maybe not needed so much in Paris where you have decent wine lists (decent markup is debatable), but in the US where you see places with the same tired New World suspects all the time, BYOB is needed.

                    Also, I have a lot of nice bottles in the cave that need to be drunk. I guess I'll just have to trow a party.

                2. re: porkpa

                  "I was just wondering about the customs." In my experience I think it is quite rare. I find wine mark-ups in French restaurants to be quite modest compared to other countries and I suspect this has meant there is little demand for BYO. Another generlisation is that I find most French restaurants have pretty good wine lists, with many listing good vintages of decent wines.

                  That said I am certain that if you wanted to BYO some very special i.e. a 1982 Petrus bottles then a restaurant would be happy to do this this, but if it was simply a recent Latour then maybe not.

              2. I wonder if keeping that special bottle for an extraordinary evening closer to home might not be just as satisfying and certainly less complicated.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mangeur

                  Its really not a problem. I was just wondering whether BYO is an acceptable practice. Since it isn't, I'll just go with the flow and do what is generally the norm.