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Corkage in France

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I have a problem or two with a very nice bistro that opened in a neighboring village a year ago. We went four times in the first few months and not since.

Because they refuse to put one red Burgundy on the wine list. The patrone says they have a list of local wines. I suggested that they could have a list concentrating on local wines with a few out of region exceptions, but I don't think that took hold.

Well, we have another nice bistro nearby and since they want to sell and leave in a NY minute, they no longer stock red Burgundies but they always have one for me - usually an Aloxe-Corton from Dubreil-Fontaine.

I want to make an effort to go there for dinner (if they have changed the menu - they chose a name that suggested seasonal cuisine but the menu hardly changed for months). I want to suggest a corkage fee of 15€ for a good bottle that I would bring.

What do you think? (Yes, I know this isn't done in France, but it's done all over California).

BTW I even wrote a nice bit about this bistro in the Trip Advisor.

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  1. I think I'd just run with the fact that it's their restaurant and so it's their choice what their wine list will contain.

    In France, asking to bring your own wine will, every single time, be construed as a not-very-subtle implication that their wine list does not meet your approval (and/or that they are incapable of choosing wines that complement their food), and it will go over like the proverbial lead balloon.

    You're fairly fortunate that suggesting alterations to the first guy's wine list didn't end up with you unceremoniously dumped at the kerb...and you'd be pushing your luck well past the breaking point by asking if you could bring your own bottle.

    Drink your favorite Bourgogne at home, and drink from their wine list when you're in their dining room.

    1 Reply
    1. re: sunshine842

      Ditto

    2. Why don't you ask your (French) wife to call and ask. If they say yes then fine, if they say no you know where you stand. I suggest asking your wife to call because s a local she may be more persuasive than you could be (I am not doubting your communication skills).

      As you say it's unusual in France so don't hold your breath for appositive response. You do live in a re-emerging wine region so I assume their list includes some interesting wines. Why not simply surrender to their expertise? If it works then you have a win, if their choice is poor it's not going to be a tragedy.

      And, yes BYO is common elsewhere, but always wise to remember that if you get the one or two good things from home you may also get all the bad things that irritated you as well. Better to go with the flow and appreciate the benefits of living in France rather than dwelling on the memories of home.

      1. I would add to the good advice upthread that we have visited a village in the Languedoc for some 15 years and have, over time, been adopted into a handful of homes. What I have learned is that in a tiny community, people like to chat. And they chat about others in the community.

        I would be hesitant to make any demands or requests that brand me as "difficult". Just my personal MO.

        I would also remember that while a business may be on the market, it may languish for a long time. Years. During which time you will be dealing with the current owner.

        But remember that I am a wuss.

        1. "Because they refuse to put one red Burgundy on the wine list."

          A bistro after my own heart.

          10 Replies
          1. re: Ptipois

            Oh, you!
            You're a bordelais!

            1. re: collioure

              No, just French. Burgundy idolatry is an American thing.

              1. re: Ptipois

                Well, if Oregon Pinot Noirs were possible, I'd include them too.
                It's the grape, not the origin.

                1. re: collioure

                  And you never wondered why pinot noir does not grow in Languedoc-Roussillon?

                  1. re: Ptipois

                    There's a little of it here. Makes a wine with fruit but no structure. Pinot Noir requires cool sun - Oregon, Burgundy and select valleys in California are ideal.

                    It's hot down here - Syrah, Grenache, Carignan and Mourvèdre prosper. Highs of at least 27C for the next ten days.

                    1. re: collioure

                      Precisely.

                      1. re: collioure

                        I thought you could actually get some decent Pinot from areas like Limoux which have vines at altitude and have a maritime influenced climate. You need to know your growers and their vin du pays as they won't be labelled Pinot but they do exist.

                        In some areas of Languedoc you can get a similar climatic conditions that to the areas that grow Californian Pinot and Australian Pinot from Victoria. Generally hot and dry, but micro climates moderated by the cooling influence of the coast. Languedoc is re-emerging as a quality wine region and there are some interesting developments away from the traditions of the area.

                        Some examples:

                        http://languedocwinetales.blogspot.co...

                        http://www.wilsondaniels.com/our-port...

                  2. re: Ptipois

                    I don't question any of the corkage advice here. But re "Burgundy idolatry is an American thing." Hmmm, I rise in defense and /or confession. Based on some blogs I follow it seems to me that Burgundy is much appreciated (to the point of what you might call idolatry) by at least ... Scandinavians (!) as well.

                    Anyway, although sometimes those southwestern wines fit the bill, and doubtless go well or best with the cuisine at restaurants there, I can certainly understand the general wish to have something more balanced, bright, and elegant. A steady diet of southwestern reds would become boring to me. And I will admit that after drinking lots of wine, our taste has moved to Burgundy. (In our experience, very few California or Oregon Pinots have the earthy and balanced character of real Burgundy.) --Jake

                    1. re: Jake Dear

                      'Something more balanced, bright, and elegant'

                      I feel the same way and imagine many French folks do too, since one of the nice things about travelling in France is the general availability of lighter-bodied red-wine options when eating out, cru Beaujolais or Loire valley, if the budget doesn't stretch to burgundy.

                      I too have come to prefer this style of wine for most food and most occasions, short of heavily-charred bloody-within red meat eaten in the dead of winter.

                2. re: Ptipois

                  Here's my dilemma. I'm constantly told that, in France, much more attention is paid to producing and selecting wine that is meant to go with the food being eaten. Restaurant owners and chefs in NY that I know seem to go out of their way to encourage me to look at the wine as part of my dinner and pick accordingly. So... following that logic, unless I fully believed that the owner of a place could not afford to carry or find a wine I have access to, but that she or he would utilize it if it was possible, I would assume that the wines chosen were as deliberate as any other aspect of the dinner & respect it. Sure, I might mention it once to see if the thought had not occurred to him/her, but not past that. No more than I would bring a different meat to the place ("have you tried making that dish with lamb instead?"). Exaggeration for the sake of CH argument, of course.

                3. Allow me to answer a few of these friendly suggestions.

                  Their wine list is well-chosen, and I see they have changed it substantially since November. I have never disaparaged their wine list - only indicated that its regional flavor could be preserved with the addition of a few out of department selections.

                  Nevertheless when I go out, I want something special and different. I prefer not to drink local Syrah-Grenache-Carignan-Mourvèdre. I have a bunch of those in my cellar. FYI when someone wants to drink a 1er cru Brugundy with your cuisine, it is a compliment whether you have one on your list or not.

                  I am in fact the local, not my wife. I have lived hereabout longer than she has, and I am on very good terms with all the restaurants we frequent.

                  23 Replies
                  1. re: collioure

                    "What do you think? (Yes, I know this isn't done in France, but it's done all over California)."

                    "I am in fact the local, not my wife."

                    I think I appreciate the contradiction.

                    1. re: Ptipois

                      You made a faulty inference.
                      I know about California because of what I read at Chowhound Wine.

                      1. re: collioure

                        Okay. I usually don't do this, but this unfortunately is the moment to do it.

                        I am a wine writer, as well as an English-French-English translator of food and wine books (lately: Jay McInerney's wine columns, which got the Best Translation award last month at the International Cookbook Festival in Beijing, one of my books on wine having won the Edmond de Rothschild award for best wine writing in 2009). Those who know me here know that I do hate to blow my own horn, going so far as asking them to remove any reference to my books and awards online.

                        But there are times when the urge not to let silly things be unchallenged becomes stronger.

                        BYOB is common in the entire US, not just in California. It is definitely not a French thing, though it is not unknown, and is tolerated by some restaurants as long as you ask them for their permission.

                        As a matter of fact, the only French restaurant I know where BYOB is commonly practised *without corkage fee* is near... Bordeaux.

                        In this case, it is quite possible that bringing your darling Burgundian bottle to a restaurant with an all-local-Languedoc wine list would not only be considered bad manners, but the wine would probably not suit the food at all.

                        In this very case, this is what a true local would do: accept and respect the wine list such as the restaurant has created it, bearing in mind that the list reflects the food in the best possible way.

                        Burgundolatry is a strange phenomenon I have noticed particularly in American wine-lovers or would-be wine lovers. Very distinctive.
                        Nothing wrong with that, just sociological facts.

                        1. re: Ptipois

                          Merci de votre franchise.

                          I am keenly aware of just about everything you wrote above. So I would never waltz in with my own wine, but I just penned an email that I will send shortly to see if we can find some common ground.

                          Since you are a wine writer, you must know that early on American Pinot Noirs were not as food friendly as French. In fact that was the case with lots of California varietals in the 80's.

                          I remember a little contest at my son’s house a while back. He had a gorgeous Mondavi Pinot Reserve which won the head-to-head tasting hands down, but with dinner the Volnay 1er cru from Lafarge stole the show.

                          As for wine-food matches I’ll take Pinot Noir over Mediterranean red blends any day of the week. It's almost never wrong.

                          FYI I maintain a cave of 225-350 bottles – 99% French from all corners of the country. Good, not grand wines. mostly 7-10€.

                          1. re: collioure

                            A simple solution would be to flip the emphasis in your cellar, drink Pinot at home and off the list when you are out.

                            1. re: mangeur

                              I don't think you quite understand. I only serve Pinot with very good food. Those are the best wines I buy (and I am about to replenish - read €€€ - the stock I bought in 2007).

                              So I order it in restaurants and serve it to my guests.

                              I have written a very nice note to the bistro, and we'll see what she says.

                              BTW I didn't just write a nice review in the Trip Advisor. They asked me to do it - and I did in two languages only to find out that just one would be accepted. I'm one of the more savvy diners hereabout.

                            2. re: collioure

                              I totally understand.
                              I still remember a great California pinot noir from the early 1980s. Forgot what winery it was from (the label was olive green). Sunnier and warmer than most pinots noirs, so I loved it. Not sure it was food-friendly, probably it wasn't. The meal included plenty of garlic and there was no way I could know.

                              Aside from that, I am not a fan of pinot noir (as red wine. Pinot noir in champagne I have no problem with). As a red wine it is elegant and racy, but with insufficient body for me, and a "cold" nature that does not agree with me. Nine times out of ten, a red pinot noir gives me a headache the next day, grand cru or not.

                              White Burgundies are in my opinion the best dry whites in the world. Reds I'm not so sure. Originally, the Burgundian terroir was supposed to be good for whites, not for reds. The Bourguignons (Lydia and Claude, soil experts and vineyard consultants) do insist on that. They say that dry whites are the true talent of Burgundy.

                              1. re: Ptipois

                                See. I knew you were a bordelais! <g>

                                The dry whites are marvelous, but I enjoy the reds just as much and more often.

                                And, yes, Pinot Noir grows well in nearby Champagne.

                                1. re: collioure

                                  I'm a Norman by my mother's side, and an Auvergnate by my father's side. I just surrendered to Bordeaux's sheer seduction :)

                                  My favorite French wines, aside from bordeaux, are côtes-du-rhône, particularly the Northern CDR: cornas, côte-rôtie, hermitage, crozes-hermitage, condrieu and the like. I also very much like wines from the Languedoc, Jura, Provence, and the Southwest. I only have a problem with red pinot noir, including the one made in Alsace. I like wines to be warm and generous.

                                  1. re: Ptipois

                                    Interesting. I recall you had a similar preference for full-bodied over bright acidic coffee in a long-ago discussion.

                                    1. re: shakti2

                                      Yes, I suppose that is part of the same logic.

                                      I do like 'light' reds as well — bourgueil, morgon or chanturgue for instance —, but the ones based on pinot noir do not agree with me. I think they have a "cold" character (in the Chinese sense of the term) and I don't seem to digest them. Only some exceptional bottles like a bonnes-mares from long ago seem to do it for me. So, considering the rarity of that occurrence, and the pricing of decent red burgundies compared to all other wines (including bordeaux), I can safely assume I do not like red burgundies.

                              2. re: collioure

                                Are you taking a really good wine to the restaurant or simply a run of the mill one?

                                That can make a difference, in that a restaurant is more likely to accept a special bottle, especially if it has a bit of age, rather than something similar to the level on their existing list.

                                I would question whether anything in the €7 to €10 range is that good, I know you live in a wine region but at this price range you are buying in the bottom third of the local price range. And whist a Premier Cru burgundy may sound special, it can be considered to be a relatively middle tier wine, especially if it hasn't been cellared. Maybe you need to take a Grand Cru, or a bottle with at least ten to fifteen years age.

                                So maybe it's about the quality of wine you wish to take?

                                1. re: PhilD

                                  FYI my red Burgundies cost on the order of 20€/bottle. From the top producers in several of the Cote-de-Beaune villages - mostly 1er cru. But that's really not an issue.

                                  1. re: collioure

                                    €20 a bottle for burgundy (retail in France) is very much mid-priced. It's probably a wine I would also drink and enjoy and €15 to €20 is very my usual range.

                                    But to be frank it's not going to be particularly special at that price point and therefore not really justify BYO as it's not going to be to different from the quality of wines on most lists.

                                    1. re: PhilD

                                      Purchased at the wineries in 2007. I will probably be paying at least 30% more to replace them next fall. I expect to order from Rapet, the leading vintner in Pernand-Vergelesses. I read that Vincent Girardin sold his enterprise; he was a wonderful producer.

                                      Mercurey 2005 Jeannin-Naltet
                                      Clos de Grands Voyens 1er Cru

                                      Santenay 2005 Vincent Girardin
                                      les Gravières 1er Cru

                                      Pernand-Vergelesses 2004 Rapet
                                      Ile de Vergelesses 1er Cru

                                      Savigny-les-Beaune 2005 JM Pavelot
                                      aux Guettes 1er Cru

                                      1. re: collioure

                                        So it's €26 a bottle.

                                        You're still either missing or sidestepping Phil's point...it's still not pricey enough to be special enough to justify smacking this woman across the nose with her own wine list.

                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                          Once again, Sunshine, this is not a battle. It's just a friendly conversation.

                                          26€ ($35) is not a lot of money for a bottle of wine in the US. However, it is in France.

                                          1. re: collioure

                                            €26 for a decent burgundy is cheap even in France - it's a wine that has stratospheric pricing. But for general wines then yes, €26 (retail) is at the higher end.

                                        2. re: collioure

                                          Yep I was buying in the region regularity between '05 and 07 and that was the basis of my assessment, great wines which I would love to drink.

                                          But not really in the top tier that I would negotiate specially to take to a restaurant that wasn't an established BYO place. Instead I would be keen to explore the lighter local wines on the list......there must be some if the list is well put together. Not all Languedoc wines are massive powerful, alcoholic beasts that dominate subtle food,

                                        3. re: PhilD

                                          I think 40% more today.

                            3. re: collioure

                              I don't doubt your local expertise, I was simply suggesting that as your wife is French she may have more success at influencing a fellow French person than you would do as a foreigner (no matter how long you have lived there).

                              In my experience the bond of National to national will always trump that of an incomer (in just about every country I have lived in) e.g. I moved to my adopted country over 20 years ago but I am still considered a foreigner so leave certain things (plumbers, builders etc) to my wife as she has the right accent.

                              1. re: PhilD

                                Indeed. In some places, three generations does not a local make.

                                1. re: mangeur

                                  "Indeed. In some places, three generations does not a local make."
                                  Totally off topic but sort-of OT;
                                  In college I commended the then head of the Boston Atheneum on how much he must be pleased that his daughter married a Bostonian - "Oh no, John, his family has been here only five generations."

                            4. While I’m not a regular on the France (or Wine) Board, this is a discussion group, so here’s my viewpoint (which is much more sympathetic to Collioure’s viewpoint than most so far).

                              I perceive a wide cultural gap between France and California (used as the example here, as it was mentioned specifically).

                              Of course, that statement, by itself, is stating the obvious. But, there’s no ‘absolute’ right or wrong.
                              It seems to me, that the basic issue is whether ‘the customer is the more important’ or ‘the restaurant is more important’.

                              In North America the former reflects the cultural norm, and the ‘cult of individuality’ permeates all (most of?) society. In France (OK I generalize, but allow me to make the contrasting point), although eccentricity (individualism?) is broadly tolerated (even embraced), the ‘rest of society’ carries on regardless.

                              Although I have never endorsed ‘the customer is always right’, that viewpoint is often spouted by rote in North America. Accordingly, the ‘right’ to bring one’s own bottle is cherished there, although the restaurateur’s ‘right’ to charge corkage is similarly acknowledged.

                              In France, if the thread so far is accurate, the impression is that the proprietor has the knowledge/skill/right (whatever word fits – I’m not arguing the meaning of words, just the concept) knows ‘better’ than the customer – perhaps going so far as ‘always’.

                              My leaning, personally, is more towards the ‘individual’ view. However, when in France, I ‘do as the French do’ but occasionally have to bite my tongue and/or acknowledge ‘vive la différence’.

                              On my last visit (2013) two examples:

                              At a 3* Michelin in Paris, we ‘played the game’ with a sommelier and attempted to identify the wines poured with each course of a multi-course (chef’s choice) menu. Fortunately we were on top form and clearly impressed the sommelier, as he asked how well we thought the matches were. On a couple of courses, we suggested an alternative match – only to note that an adjacent table received the alternative that we had suggested (NOT separately opened, bottles were already part-poured). Upon mentioning that, we were informed ‘many wines go with that course’ – the wine we suggested was never poured for us. We also noticed that other tables who received different plates from us (clearly the chef chose different dishes for different tables) still received the same wines as us.

                              At another place, multi-recommended on this Board, which has a changing daily fixed menu, we chose what we thought was a matching wine. It turned out we had been given the previous days menu (I assume in error, and not because we were North American). I would have chosen a different wine, given the correct information. But, as ‘guests’ we went along for the ride. In the US I would probably have returned the bottle and exchanged it.

                              [Restaurant names omitted so as not to divert attention away from the topic].

                              To fill out the picture a little, the availability of beverages in North America has been coloured by Prohibition. In many states/provinces, there is restricted choice because of legislation/government intervention (sometimes the government is the ONLY supplier).

                              Taxes are, often, much higher on wine than they are in Europe, so restaurants may have restricted choices through either necessity or economic limitations (cost of inventory). Going back to ‘culture’ there also isn’t the familiarity with wines that is common in Europe.

                              Obviously there are a large number of exceptions, but the ‘average neighbourhood restaurant’ is unlikely to have anybody on staff who can talk knowledgeably about wine. Wine is merely a revenue producer, rather than a planned accompaniment. It basically ‘hits a price-point’. No ‘personal pride’ is involved in the wine list – definitely NOT the situation with the food.

                              If no insult is ‘intended’ I don’t see the problem. If offence is ‘taken’ then clearly there IS a problem. My take is that Collioure is sensitive to the possibility of that and has taken the appropriate steps to minimize or prevent offence. I’d happily raise a glass of my choice.

                              57 Replies
                              1. re: estufarian

                                You are quite correct in that the customer is always right is American and the proprietor is usually right is French. I noticed that here right away.

                                When something is really fouled up here, I speak up. I wind up writing a letter to a CEO about once every two years.

                                However, this is not a case of who is right. It is just a question of whether we will continue to dine there. I stated clearly that my request was not a critique of their wine list, but instead a compliment on their cuisine. Maybe she has some new local wines that might interest me for a dinner or two.

                                1. re: collioure

                                  I am happy to report that my request has been approved. I will discretely bring a good bottle of red Burgundy in my attaché. If there's nothing new on the wine list that suits our meal, or if she has a bottle of red Burgundy for me, we'll drink her wine. In any case I will never talk about this anywhere.

                                  Let me assure you that she has good wines.

                                  A wine called Tradition down here means an unoaked blend of Grenache, Carignan, Syrah and/or Mourvèdre. From most vintners it is priced at 7€. She had a wonderful one that I went out and bought immediately (8.50€). I expect to take a carton of 6 annually.

                                  1. re: collioure

                                    "And never talk about it anywhere"
                                    Please promise.
                                    If all fails, you can always keep your special bottles home to wash down the supermarket frozen steaks that you say you like so much.

                                    1. re: Parigi

                                      No, I don't like the last batch, and I think it is the last batch. I have yet to write to Intermarché, but that will happen soon. I suspect someone pulled a switcheroo. These well maybe their regular steaks.

                                      Since I no longer drag bottles of Zinfandel back here, and I'm not a Cabernet fan, I tend to drink Mourvèdre-dominant wines with excellent steak from either of two very good butchers.

                                      Pinot Noir is for some elegant fish dishes I prepare for guests and for rabbit.

                                    2. re: collioure

                                      So easily solved. And here we all worried so needlessly.

                                      1. re: mangeur

                                        I did note early on that I was on good terms with all the restaurants hereabout and that I had sent a tactful email request.
                                        In any case I hope you enjoyed this as an interesting exercise.
                                        BTW I wouldn't necessarily say "easily solved." It may have taken just about all of those 8 months to soften her up.
                                        She's quite lovely but wants to stick to her guns on offering only wines from this region. I just hope I never want to bring a Riesling or a Sancerre! <vbg>

                                        1. re: collioure

                                          Well, we're reserved Sunday night. I stopped on Thursday to look at the menu and wine offerings. It's really a very nifty modern dining room with very high ceilings and monstrous chalk boards that present the choices. Deservedly popular place. The chef was second at la Tour d’Argent* in Paris.

                                          There are several new dishes, thank God, with one entree and one main plate fixtures from the original menu 14 months ago.

                                          And there is one new wine that interests me greatly - l'Amourette rouge from http://www.thunevin-calvet.fr/. It's 60% Mourvèdre. Parker gives it 90-91. I love Mourvèdre - it's the grape the very best winemakers down here prefer and reserve for their best cuvées, but I'm discreetly bringing my bottle of red Burgundy just the same.
                                          .

                                          1. re: collioure

                                            Why would you care what Parker gives it! Bevi il vino, not Parker.

                                            1. re: allende

                                              Parker has steered me to many fine wines over the years.

                                              So I do care what he says, esp if he is going to vineyards in the remotest parts of this province.Those vineyards are at least an hour from Perpignan and even further from my house. I only go out there once a year to buy, but my favorite local wine is from that area.

                                              Moreover, a vintner who has enough Mourvèdre to make his wine 60% Mourvèdre has my attention. Mourvèdre is the wild card grape in our wines.

                                              1. re: collioure

                                                Parker is not going to the remotest parts of this province. He didn't review that wine.

                                                Do you know who Jeb Dunnuck is? Have you seen how his recommendations have held up over the years? Didn't think so.

                                                Bevi il vino, not Jeb Dunnuck or Robert Parker.

                                                1. re: collioure

                                                  I do use Parker's ratings -- but in quite the opposite manner. I generally don't like the stuff that Parker likes, so I use his ratings to avoid wines that I'm probably not going to like anyway.

                                                  For France, I prefer to use Le Guide Hachette.

                                                  But mostly I use my own nose and palate. If I like it, I buy it.

                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                    Using your own nose and palate is the way to do it.

                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                      To each his own. I have never disliked a wine to which Parker awarded a score of at least 90.

                                                2. re: collioure

                                                  I wonder if you are going to share the name and location of this wonderful restaurant?

                                                  1. re: PhilD

                                                    It most probably is Côté Saisons, in Laroque-des-Albères.

                                                    (Very close, incidentally, to two of the oldest known carved marble pre-Romanesque church lintels, Saint-Génis-des-Fontaines and Saint-André-de-Sorède.)

                                                    1. re: Ptipois

                                                      Thanks - looks nice - the chef Nicolas was at La Tour d'Argent so it sounds like this is the secret spot.

                                                      I see Ingrid his partner runs FOH and is ex Shangri-La Hotels (Asia and Paris) so is no doubt fairly experienced at dealing with and resolving the varied and challenging requests from English speaking guests without any language issues.

                                            2. re: collioure

                                              " I will discretely bring a good bottle of red Burgundy in my attaché."
                                              Of all that I want to write, this covers it all.

                                              1. re: genoO

                                                Syntax does cover it all.

                                                1. re: genoO

                                                  I'm not sure what you're driving at, but I will discreetly bring a bottle of Cote de Beaune Burgundy because l'Amourette might not be appropriate for the dinner we order.

                                                  The problem with our local wines is that both in white and in red the span of flavors is narrow. Previously, for example, all the reds were Syrah-Grenache-Carignan blends.

                                                  1. re: collioure

                                                    "the span of flavors is narrow"

                                                    This is definitely not what I have noticed with Languedoc-Roussillon wines in recent years. The diversity of whites for one thing is quite amazing. Besides, it is a large region, with all sorts of climates and soils. And grape varietals. And tastes.

                                                    And thus a "narrow span of flavors" is why you want to bring a *red* *Burgundy*?

                                                    1. re: Ptipois

                                                      Not Languedoc-Roussillon, just Roussillon. In red there is a little Merlot and even less Cabernet. In white there is no Sauvignon Blanc, no dry Riesling and a little Chardonnay. Those are basic building blocks for almost any restaurant wine list, and you'd want one of those three whites with the restaurant's signature dish.

                                                      I am ready for my annual vineyard tour. I will buy at least 50 Mediterranean red blends and 3 Merlot.

                                                      Here’s list of the winners of this year’s annual tasting. Many of the IGP wines do not qualify for AOC status because they are not blends, not because they contain non-AOC varietals.
                                                      http://www.saint-bacchus.com/UserFile...

                                                      1. re: collioure

                                                        That habit of characterizing wines only through their grape varieties... So non-local. Any good winemaker in France will tell you that the grape varietal is of minor importance compared to the terroir (soil + climate + other local variables). There are as many distinct expressions of a grape varietal as there are places where it is grown and vinified. Only mechanized winemaking could result in homogeneity, and even then it never quite achieves it. Excuse me but, from the beginning of this thread, you seem to show little understanding of the notion of wine, and of food paired with wine, as they are experienced in France.

                                                        There is certainly a good reason why the carte des vins at Côté Saisons does not have any red Burgundy, the chef used to be second at La Tour d'Argent and he should know. Did you ever try to find out why instead of pasting your own conceptions on a particular situation that has its own underlying rules?

                                                        "and you'd want one of those three whites with the restaurant's signature dish"

                                                        Why in the world would you want to make wines in a given region from grape varietals that do not fare well in that given region (sauvignon and riesling notably)?

                                                        1. re: Ptipois

                                                          Little Pea, I do recognize the difference in the Mediterranean reds here. Some are lean, some are chunky, others are intense, silky/gouleyant vs compact/tannic, oaked vs unoaked, dominated by any of the four grape varieties. I am about to buy an annual selection of them. However, I do not want to drink them with everything.

                                                          The whites here are even more restrictive. I just bought 4 bottles - a 2-year supply. Alongside I have Rieslings, Gewurztraminers, Pinot Gris, Albarinos, Sauvignon Blancs, Chardonnays, Jurançons and a few more. The span of flavors in Roussillon whites is narrow.

                                                          FYI the "rules" in this restaurant are that they want to represent local products and the chef does not do the wine. Unfortunately they do not have Sauvignon Blanc, a dry Riesling or even a Chardonnay, the wines any savvy customer would want to drink with their signaure dish.

                                                          1. re: collioure

                                                            You just presented your own petard, and then wonder why anyone should suggest you be hoisted on it.

                                                            It's a local restaurant, featuring local products, including local wines.

                                                            Your insistence on screwing that up with a wine from another region, and your continuing to be oblivious for the smack up the side of the head of the owner and chef (from Tour 'Argent, no less!) is simply incomprehensible.

                                                            Local wines always, ALWAYS go with local foods -- terroir, terroir, terroir.

                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                              Sunshine, will you ever learn? You keep making faulty assummptions and then placing your foot squarely in your mouth. The cuisine does feature some local products, but the dishes themselves are hardly regional.

                                                              Regional cuisine here is Catalan. There are no Catalan dishes offered.

                                                              You yourself surely must know that Pinot Noir is the most food friendly wine in the world. Like Champagne you can enjoy it with a very wide range of dishes.

                                                              (You know, it's be nice if some of you folks didn't come on like vipers.)

                                                              1. re: collioure

                                                                Even before reading this last post, I was about to say: I truly hope it goes well tonight, and, as a fellow lover of Burgundy, I also hope that after all of this about corkage, your Beaune is not corked. -- Jake

                                                                1. re: Jake Dear

                                                                  Thank you, Jake, but depending on what we order, I might opt for a gorgeous Mourvèdre-dominant wine they have. In fact I might want to try it because I am about to go out to Maury where it is produced.

                                                                  In any case I'm sure we will enjoy a fine meal. These folks hit all the right notes from the word "go."

                                                                  1. re: Jake Dear

                                                                    Thank you. We had a lovely dinner. I did order the excellent Mourvèdre wine from the list. The cuisine has progressed and we will return again soon.

                                                                    The white wine selection now features a Marsanne, a Roussanne, and a Viognier. The patrone has a friend well-placed in the wine world who helps her find these rare treasures. I will have one of these whites with the signature dish next time.

                                                                  2. re: collioure

                                                                    You made the statement, not I. There were no assumptions made.

                                                                    And no, I don't agree that Pinot Noir is not the most food-friendly wine in the world. While we own a few, I find it the least-likeable varietal out there, and largely unable to stand up to many types of food.

                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                      No, I wrote

                                                                      "FYI the "rules" in this restaurant are that they want to represent local products"

                                                                      You made a leap of faith to local cuisine.

                                                                      1. re: collioure

                                                                        seriously....local cuisine and local products are not the same thing?

                                                                        Not in any France I've ever lived in or visited.

                                                                        1. re: sunshine842

                                                                          No.

                                                                          For example, one could take a Burgundian recipe for rabbit and use the rabbit of a renowned local supplier of rabbit.

                                                                          You know, I suspect, he coming from Paris, she from even further away, this may have been a way to ease their entry into the local market. So they wouldn't seem so foreign.

                                                              2. re: Ptipois

                                                                Perhaps we should contine with wine lessons.

                                                                Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet and Pinot Noir are known as the four noble grape varieties. It's six if you include Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. None of them are represented in the wine selections there.

                                                                Heck, youy'll even find some of these on a wine list

                                                                in Italy!

                                                                1. re: collioure

                                                                  "Perhaps we should contin(u)e with wine lessons."

                                                                  Fine, I am waiting for the first one to begin.

                                                                  "Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet and Pinot Noir are known as the four noble grape varieties."

                                                                  For I can't imagine you're counting this as one...

                                                                  "The whites here are even more restrictive."

                                                                  Indeed, I understand. With maccabeu, bourboulenc, roussane, marsanne, vermentino, muscat à petits grains and muscat d'Alexandrie, viognier, piquepoul, etc., they're bound to have an extremely limited aromatic range.

                                                                  "FYI the "rules" in this restaurant are that they want to represent local products and the chef does not do the wine."

                                                                  Whether the chef "does the wine" or not, the wine list is adapted to the food, based on local products, and the restaurant makes it a point to respect that.

                                                                  "Heck, youy'll even find some of these on a wine list
                                                                  in Italy!"

                                                                  Here I also fail to see your point. Where, in Italy? In Milan, say, or in Sorrento?

                                                                  1. re: Ptipois

                                                                    Little Pea, please don't misquote me. You're likely to find some Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and even Pinot Noir on a wine list in Italy. Often in quite different styles.

                                                                    As for our whites what I call the noble white grapes of the Midi - that is, Roussanne, Marsanne, and Viognier - are absent from over 99% of the whites here. There are a few pricey wines here from these varieties. Marsanne apparently does not grow well here.

                                                                    That leaves maccabeu, bourboulenc, vermentino, muscat à petits grains and muscat d'Alexandrie, and piquepoul. Appropriate for a simple fish course. Snore. Ball to your court.

                                                                    1. re: collioure

                                                                      "Little Pea, please don't misquote me. You're likely to find some Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and even Pinot Noir on a wine list in Italy. Often in quite different styles."

                                                                      I heard that. But what it is supposed to prove? That these grape varietals grow in Italy? Fine. So what?

                                                                      "That leaves maccabeu, bourboulenc, vermentino, muscat à petits grains and muscat d'Alexandrie, and piquepoul. Appropriate for a simple fish course. Snore."

                                                                      If these make you snore, the problem is clearly not the "narrowness" of the wines but of your own palate - and recognition of terroir style. Or it can also be that you drank too much of them.

                                                                      (Besides, what is "a simple fish course"? I've no idea of what that is.)

                                                                      And if I am not mistaken, it is red wine you want to bring to that unfortunate restaurant. So I can't figure out why you're trying to minimize local white wines as well, especially after I've pointed out how varied and versatile they are.

                                                                      1. re: Ptipois

                                                                        These are important wine grapes in France and in the world at large. With fine cuisine they are options you want to have.

                                                                        However, in Italy they are not the norm. Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Nero d'Avola etc are. Nevertheless in Italy you will find at least some of them on a wine list in a good restaurant.

                                                  2. re: estufarian

                                                    that's just it...no offense might be *intended*, but offense will very likely be taken.

                                                    When in Rome, etc., etc., etc. -- whether you live there or are just visiting.

                                                    Collioure (the place) is NOT California, and no matter how much you'd like it to be, it will never BE California. You have gone to an enormous amount of trouble to live in Collioure....why go to so much trouble to make it something it isn't?

                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                      Very simply, Sunshine, It is one of two restaurants nearby that is open on Sunday night, and I would like to dine there often.

                                                      We discussed this matter a couple of times late last year, and then we haven't come for 8 months. I think the message is clear, and I hope we are able to find a mutually satisfying solution. I will stop by next week to look at their new wine selection.

                                                      BTW I walked in her shoes for many years. In those shoes you are in the business of pleasing people. When someone wanted to bring a special bottle of wine into my restaurant, one that I couldn't come close to matching, the answer was always, "YES!"

                                                      1. re: collioure

                                                        While I don't agree with trying to change the business model of an established restaurant, what you describe is not unusual in your area. David Pugh of the late La Mimosa in St. Guiraud used to have two wine lists, one for summer featuring the best of the local wines and one for winter which was for locals and featuring Burgundy and Bordeaux. He told us that locals wouldn't drink local wine when they went out, while sampling local stuff was the reason visitors came.

                                                        1. re: mangeur

                                                          I'm not trying to change anything. I just want an enjoyable time.

                                                          1. re: collioure

                                                            Some would suggest that hoping to introduce the practice of BYOB to a remote village in France trying to change something.

                                                            1. re: mangeur

                                                              There is a cliché "impossible n'est pas français" which spins off from the fact that the word "impossible" was, in the past and very strictly speaking, not grammatically correct (it should be "pas possible").

                                                              Anyway, l'impossible is all too French when you are a stranger but rarely if you are a friend/ acquaintance. So it very much depends on the relationship between Collioure and the restaurant owner. If he is well known to the house, a polite request that avoids seeming to be critical of the restaurant's wine list will work. "I have a special Burgundy that I'm dying to share with friends", etc. And in this I support Phil's point that a 10 € Burgundy just ain't gonna swing it and will be interpreted as lèse-majesté.

                                                              Unfortunately Collioure may have already ruffled feathers by previous demands for his type of wine to be included in the wine list. So a little repair might be necessary. Has the TA review been shown to the owner?

                                                              1. re: Parnassien

                                                                Re the possible need for repair and "Has the TA review been shown to the owner?" -- I was thinking the same -- but then, it might not be the best move if the review also mentions the limited wine list!

                                                                1. re: Jake Dear

                                                                  No, I willingly wrote a very complimentary review and I'm not going to have it changed for spite. There is no spite. I just want to dine there frequently with wine I will enjoy. It's a very promising entry into our local market. That I went there four times in 8 months ought to tell you something. I've never done that before. Anywhere.

                                                                  Way too many of you are making this into a battle. It's just a friendly conversation headed toward a happy conclusion, I hope.

                                                                  I think we all have established that BYOB is not kosher in France.

                                                                  Thank you.

                                                                  1. re: collioure

                                                                    I certainly didn't mean to suggest changing any positive review. Hope this works out well for you, and curious to know!

                                                                    1. re: collioure

                                                                      " I just want to dine there frequently with wine I will enjoy."

                                                                      That sentence speaks volumes about a lot of things.

                                                                      And why I stick by my assertion. (you've gone and ahead and broached the issue, so it's a moot point, anyway)

                                                                      1. re: collioure

                                                                        I think it was you who reminded this board several times that you are a successful travel consultant regarding France. You must know that unlike California, here the menu and wine list are composed together. You don't bring your own wine just as you don't bring your own food, or hang your favorite painting in front of you in the restaurant, or break into your favorite aria in between courses.

                                                                        "Way too many of you are making this into a battle. "

                                                                        When you start a thread in a forum, you are asking for opinions. And you get ? Opinions.
                                                                        There are many ways you can analyze why so many disagree with you. Making battle? That is one (your) way of looking at it.

                                                                        "That I went there four times in 8 months ought to tell you something."

                                                                        So you go to this restaurant every two months. I don't know what it tells us besides that you don't go often but you harass the poor restaurant.

                                                                        1. re: Parigi

                                                                          Sorry, wrong number, Parigi. You misread a number of things here.

                                                                          And I question whether the wines and food are coordinated there. That is something I know a lot about.

                                                                          1. re: Parigi

                                                                            Sometimes on this board, simple points are so honed, and sharpened that they become daggers... sometimes others get pricked, sometimes the point-maker finds the dagger sticking in his foot. And everyone forgets what the original point was.

                                                                    2. re: mangeur

                                                                      It's not necessarily for everyone. Such can be done very discreetly on occasion.

                                                                2. re: collioure

                                                                  But you haven't walked in her shoes.

                                                                  You aren't French.

                                                                  Your restaurant(s) weren't French, and weren't in France.

                                                                  The cultural framework -- of wine, of food, of being a restaurateur (euse), of customer service, is so different as to make your experience almost irrelevant.

                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                    Oh, but our restaurant was French, very French, very authentic. 15 in the Gault et Millau. So just for the record, better than this one.

                                                                    Once again one is in the business of pleasing customers.

                                                                    And occasionally customers arrived with very fine bottles which we served with pleasure.

                                                                    1. re: collioure

                                                                      but not French as in "Owned by French" (i.e., raised in the culture of food, wine, and customer service definitions OF FRANCE)

                                                                      And what YOU would do with YOUR restaurant is not always going to be what others do with THEIR restaurant.

                                                                      Obviously you didn't want to continue running your own restaurant (for whatever reason) -- or you wouldn't be speaking of it in past tense.

                                                                      It's their restaurant to run as they see fit.

                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                        Sunshine, you're way off base in just about all your assertions.

                                                                    2. re: sunshine842

                                                                      His restaurant was VERY French. I was happy to have dined there several times.

                                                                      1. re: ChefJune

                                                                        Thank you, June.
                                                                        (How much do I owe you? <g>)

                                                              2. Since this thread went this long without it being mentioned, I'll add my piece: one situation where BYOB is completely normal is at Halal establishments. Many restaurants are happy to serve wine, but for those who are not, it is a good idea to ask if you can bring your own. I've never been charged a corkage, and had some very enjoyable 20€ bottles with couscous and grillades.

                                                                27 Replies
                                                                1. re: tmso

                                                                  How is it halal if it allows alcohol?

                                                                  1. re: mr_gimlet

                                                                    @ collioure,

                                                                    1. Out of the clear blue you said "Heck, youy'll even find some of these on a wine list in Italy!"

                                                                    Then you said: "You’re likely to find some Chardonnay, Riesling, Cabernet, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and even Pinot Noir on a wine list in Italy. Often in quite different styles.”

                                                                    As Ptipois said: "I heard that. But what it is supposed to prove? That these grape varietals grow in Italy? Fine. So what?"

                                                                    Not only is she absolutely correct ("what is that suppose to prove”), but IMO you left out the most important thing. Chardonnay etc. might appear on wine lists here in Italy, but basically it is sold to non-Italians.

                                                                    Few Italians who care about wine here care about Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet and Pinot Noir, for example. Italians who care about wine know that the Italian wine producers basically don’t know what to do with those grapes, particularly Cabernet, Merlot and Pinot Noir. The vintners here who produce those wines are doing it for foreigners (mostly Americans and Chinese), from whom they can get exorbitant prices because the wine press puffs up those wines, particularly the “Super Tuscans” which are anything but super. When it comes to “Super Tuscans” we invert the old Italian wine proverb, bevi il vino, non l’etichetta to bevi l’etichetta perche non bevi il buon vino.

                                                                    Italy has a few great grapes: nebbiolo, sangiovese, barbera and a few minor ones e.g aglianico. But the Italians simply don’t know what to do with Pinot Noir (have you ever tasted a Blauburgunder from the Alto Adige?) A merlot from Tuscany? Just mediocre wines... at best.

                                                                    2. I disagree with you on all of this and perhaps my disagreement has something to do with what you use to guide you. As mentioned when you posted on the Italian board and said "In Italy the best guides to restaurants are Veronelli, followed by l'Espresso IMO.” and that you used Veronelli for wine reviews, I said that you didn't even know that Veronelli has been dead for more than ten years.

                                                                    3. I’m pleased to hear that "I have never disliked a wine to which Parker awarded a score of at least 90.” Ah, if wine could only be done by the numbers we’d all be drunk mathematicians. A score of at least 90. What about an 89. Have there been some Parker 89s that you’ve disliked?

                                                                    4. All this back and forth over taking a minor red burgundy to a restaurant. I must be missing something, but it is amusing.

                                                                    1. re: allende

                                                                      "4. All this back and forth over taking a minor red burgundy to a restaurant. I must be missing something, but it is amusing."

                                                                      Perfect summary of this entire thread.

                                                                      1. re: jock

                                                                        It's not done in this country, Jock.

                                                                      2. re: allende

                                                                        I'm mostly going to address your comments on Italian wine.

                                                                        Surely the wines from Alto Adige are quite different from their counterparts in other countries.

                                                                        Surely, if you are Italian, you have earned to like their best varietals. I like them too and wish I could get my hands on a few.

                                                                        However, modern cuisine fusing flavors from around the globe is with us now. Eclectic dishes don't necessarily lend themselves to local wines, and when you order wine for a table of 6 with all different dishes ordered, it's hardly surprising how often a dry Alsatian Riesling is the right white wine and a Pinot Noir the right red.

                                                                        Italian winemakers have found it worthwhile to raise varietals they can sell abroad. Americans, for example, just don't understand Chianti Classico, but they do understand Chardonnay from Gaja.

                                                                        BTW I have also never disliked a wine to which Parker awarded a score of 89, and I have never used Veronelli for wine.

                                                                        1. re: collioure

                                                                          I mis-understood about Veronelli. I thought that since you explicitly said you used Veronelli for restaurants, even though he had been dead for ten years, and then wrote "Online I can only find a Veronelli restaurant guide as recent as 2012 whereas their wine guides are current", I incorrectly assumed that you used "his current wine guide" for wines. My apologies.

                                                                          Now I'm going to address your other comments. You said: "Surely the wines from Alto Adige are quite different from their counterparts in other countries." So... what exactly does that mean? A mediocre wine, and the Blauburgunders are mediocre pinot noir, is a mediocre wine. Have you had a pinot noir from the Alto Adige? If so, did you think it was a good or better than a good wine.

                                                                          You said: "Surely, if you are Italian, you have earned to like their best varietals." I'm not Italian but live here. I like certain varietals, but think what is done here with cabernet, merlot and pinot noir is appalling.

                                                                          Italy has very little of modern cuisine and what little there is, is mostly awful. The key reason for that is that Italian chefs try to go outside of their sphere of competence and fail miserably. When they stick to what they know best, they are brilliant. Look at my latest long posts on Piemonte.

                                                                          Given that and the lack of eclectic dishes, basically local wines go best with the cuisine. Sangiovese in Tuscany; barbera, barbaresco, barolo, dolcetto in Piemonte; Lagrein in the Alto Adige etc.

                                                                          Americans can understand chardonnay from Gaja; very few can afford it.

                                                                          What about an 88 from Parker or whomever is writing for him these days?

                                                                          1. re: allende

                                                                            "local wines go best with the cuisine"

                                                                            THIS

                                                                            (pours allende a verre and pulls an extra chair to the table)

                                                                            1. re: allende

                                                                              "Surely the wines from Alto Adige are quite different from their counterparts in other countries."

                                                                              That means that they employ these varietals but that the wines are often different from their usual western world representations. BTW I don't like many of these wines, esp the Pinot Noirs. Nevertheless they show up in restaurants in Italy. That is the point. Important varietals show up on resturant wine lists.

                                                                              "Surely, if one is Italian, one has earned to like their best varietals." OK?

                                                                              1. re: collioure

                                                                                Pinot noir is not an important varietal in Italy. Nor is merlot, nor cabernet. As I said, Italians do all three varietals very poorly. The French do all three, IMO, far better than anyone else in the world.

                                                                                Collioure, with all due respect, I think your comments on Italy are way off the mark and very much out of date. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/972918.

                                                                                Restaurants that you haven't been to in a very long time and that have undergone many reincarnations, but that you're still recommending. Guides that are terribly out of date, but that you're still using. Wines that you've never tried, but on which you have an opinion.

                                                                                And you said this: "And now we have Trip Advisor which gives the customers’ views. I've been traveling in Europe for 40 years now, and I just know how to read between the lines of these reviews. In fact I even know when they are wrong..."

                                                                                Again, just my opinion, and there is no right or wrong, but I disagree with what you say, not only about Italy, but France as well.

                                                                                1. re: allende

                                                                                  You have misquoted me again.
                                                                                  Bye.

                                                                                  1. re: collioure

                                                                                    That's really strange. I quoted you once. Let me refer you to your quote and see if I misquoted you.

                                                                                    Go to http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9729...
                                                                                    and the fifth post is yours. Go to the fifth paragraph.

                                                                                    I wish you well with all your Italian travels and your French wine travails.

                                                                                    It has been amusing to hear your thoughts on various topics both in "Corkage In France" and on the Italian board.

                                                                                    1. re: allende

                                                                                      You come here with your own agenda, and you did not read what I wrote.

                                                                                      I never said Merlot, Cabernet and Pinot Noir were important in Italy.

                                                                                      Until next time. I hate being misquoted.

                                                                        2. re: mr_gimlet

                                                                          This is a long tradition in Mediterranean countries where different religious groups have a long history of coexistence.

                                                                          1. re: tmso

                                                                            But isn't there a subtle but important difference between a Halal restaurant and a restaurant owned by people of the Muslim faith?

                                                                            Many Muslim restaurant owners are OK with BYO but if they choose run a specifically Halal restaurant that means they don't allow alcohol. Many restaurants may have Halal food but if they allow alcohol it isn't really an Halal restaurant.

                                                                            1. re: PhilD

                                                                              There are many different traditions across the world. France, being a mediterranean country, has many muslims from countries where Halal tradition does not require non-muslims in the restaurant to abstain from wine, as long as the observant muslims are not the ones serving it. I'm not sure what's so difficult to understand here.

                                                                              1. re: tmso

                                                                                It's probably a case of terminology rather than the tradition of the owners. When many people refer to a "halal restaurant it's generally meant it's halal meat and no alcohol. If it just uses halal meat then it's generally not called a "halal" restaurant.

                                                                                Maybe it's just a distinction that's made in the countries where I have lived - it's quite a convenient shorthand.

                                                                                1. re: PhilD

                                                                                  No, it's certainly a question of tradition, and that is what I was trying to get at, in the context of a discussion of bringing your own wine to a restaurant. The establishment is Halal, they do not serve non-Halal food, and do not serve alcohol. They may well provide glasses for you to pour your own wine into. I'm sure there are plenty of countries where this is not done, but in France, this is a perfectly ordinary thing for a Halal restaurant to do.

                                                                                  There are of course restaurants that use Halal meats, but also sell beer and wine. This is not what I was talking about, and I would not suggest trying to bring your own bottle into one.

                                                                                  1. re: tmso

                                                                                    I will try to say it in a more simple way.

                                                                                    The term "Halal Restaurant" is shorthand for many people to mean halal food and no booze.

                                                                                    I totally understand that many restaurants serve halal food, allow BYO and even serve alcohol.....but in many countries the term "halal restaurant" would not be used because of the booze - and I mean by the general diner not a Muslim diner. It's shorthand terminology.

                                                                                    1. re: PhilD

                                                                                      c'mon, Phil -- I KNOW you've been in restaurants that called themselves halal and allowed BYOB.

                                                                                      One of our favorite local restos in France was an awesome Moroccan place -- they announced that all their meat was halal, right alongside the table placards advertising north African rosés and a crazy-addictive date liqueur.

                                                                                      The world is too small and life too short to nitpick over details like this.

                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                        Isn't that what I said above? All I am saying is that some people use the term "halal restaurant" to distinguish between those that do allow booze and those that don't...it's not used as a literal term.

                                                                                        Both may serve halal food. If my friends say we are going to a Pakistani curry house it's a curry house that will do BYO - even though it serves halal food. If my friends say we are going to a halal Pakistani restaurant I know it's no booze.

                                                                                        Obviously you and TMSO are not conversant with how this shorthand (not literal) term is used in some parts of the world. I thought it would be a useful insight.

                                                                                        1. re: PhilD

                                                                                          If you're not Muslim and don't own the restaurant, it's really not your call whether they choose to allow or serve alcohol or not. (even if you ARE Muslim, if it's not your restaurant you still really don't have much of a voice)

                                                                                          They're answering to a far bigger voice than yours.

                                                                                          Live and let live.

                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                            Sunshine - I really don't think you understand what I am actually saying - maybe read it more carefully.

                                                                                            I have never said anything about me choosing what a restaurant serves. Its just this term, in many countries, is used to describe a restaurant that is halal and doesn't serve alcohol.

                                                                                            A restaurant that serves alcohol is generally (by the people I know) described by the food it serves: Pakistani, Lebanese, Malaysian, Afghani etc. And these will all generally serve halal food. \

                                                                                            If we then describe it as Pakistani AND Halal my friends will understand it doesn't serve alcohol......its just a shorthand way of describing something.

                                                                                            1. re: PhilD

                                                                                              But what if we need bacon at a kosher restaurant? Can we BYOB?

                                                                                              1. re: PhilD

                                                                                                I'm backing Phil on this one, as I am used tot he same language.

                                                                                                A restaurant that allows alcohol on its premises is not halal. It may serve halal food, but the restaurant is not halal. Many restaurants where I live are fully halal.

                                                                                                1. re: mr_gimlet

                                                                                                  I would love to see the ensuing spectacle when an Australian tries to explain to the Maghrebin owner of a Halal restaurant that his establishment is really Haram. Please film this, if you ever do so.

                                                                                                  One final thing before I shut up, because this thread is going nowhere. Of course you cannot drink wine in a halal restaurant in Arabia or Yemen, it would be haram. This does not mean that the same is true in Tunisia or Morocco. The world is large and traditions vary widely. The one about halal restaurants being one of the few places in France where BYOB is a thing, I thought interesting enough to share. Sorry I did.

                                                                                                  1. re: tmso

                                                                                                    Actually, it is quite common here in Australia as well.

                                                                                        2. re: PhilD

                                                                                          Go argue with an Imam if you want, I'm simply describing the reality as it exists here.

                                                                          2. God, you folks sure know how to beat a dead horse.

                                                                            During my recent week in Bordeaux, I sampled quite a few truly memorable wines. Even the house wines were miles better than most wines by the glass one can purchase at restaurants in the states. Quit yer bitchin' and count yer blessins!

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: pikawicca

                                                                              "God, you folks sure know how to beat a dead horse."

                                                                              Just like others who paint themselves in a corner see no other solution than painting all over themselves I suppose ;D

                                                                              Totally agree about the local wines in the Bordeaux region. But they're generally fairly serious about wine over there.