What is Corkage? Why Corkage?

Feb 15, 2020 | Events

Temecula Wine Country is home to many fabulous family-owned wineries that produce hundreds  of award-winning wines; and, you can taste them all, yes ALL, in the winery tasting rooms where you can also buy your favorite wines. What to do with your treasures? Did you know you can take bottles of wine with you when you go out to a restaurant? Yes, you can.

Corkage is another way to BYOB!

You are probably familiar with BYOB, right? You know, when you take a six-pack to your friend’s barbecue. Corkage is another way to BYOB but with a few more details. When you take your wine with you, restaurants will charge a ‘corkage fee’ to open and serve each bottle of wine.

What? Why charge for corkage? “I can open the bottle myself!” Well, actually, no you can’t…the server or sommelier must open it. But that’s not all of it. Paying for corkage is a fair exchange as the server opens your awesome bottle, provides lovely glassware and gives you the attentive service you would expect as though you bought your wine from their wine list. And consider that the restaurant has to pay for a somm or professional server, plus it takes time and money to put together a wine list and the restaurant loses money when you don’t buy wine from their list as the reality is that restaurants operate on a very slim margin.

Why then do they even allow corkage you may wonder? Restaurants are in the hospitality business and offering corkage is one way to treat their customers well and be welcoming. And a side perk for the restaurant…they may discover a wonderful wine – like your lovely Temecula wine – that they might want to include on their wine list!

Learn How To BYOB Like A Boss!

Corkage Tips & Tricks

Okay, now you’re into it and excited to bring wine with you when you dine and share with friends but are unsure of what to do. Here are some tips so you can BYOB with confidence:

  • Please don’t bring a bottle that is already on the menu. If in doubt, call first. If by chance you do, they may charge you the price of the bottle on the menu. That said, if the wine is on the menu, but a different vintage, that’s A-okay
  • When we say ‘bottle of wine’ it means a 750ml bottle which is the standard bottle.
  • If the restaurant has “No bottle limit” read that as “No bottle limit within reason!”
  • Bring your bottle(s) in something that doesn’t look like you just bought it at 7 Eleven. Oh, please don’t bring anything you bought at a convenience store unless you happened upon the rare find of the century.
  • When you are seated, let your server know you have bottles for corkage. This is the time to provide any particular instructions, like, if you want the wine decanted, when you would like it served, etc.
  • A waiter or sommelier must be the one to open your bottle and pour your liquid gold into a glass.
  • It’s cool to offer your server a taste.
  • Aside from your bottle, it would be spectacular to also order from the wine list…a glass of wine, a cocktail. Make everybody happy!
  • Be awesome! Tip accordingly!
  • A restaurant is not required to offer corkage so it should be regarded as a perk and a privilege.

Where To Find Corkage Information

Of course, now you want to know what your favorite restaurant charges for corkage. Guess what? You can search thousands of restaurants and their corkage fees including information about how many bottles you can bring and any other service or restrictions at BYOBLikeABOSS.com where you will find restaurants all over the country so you can BYOB when you travel…and BYOB like a boss! À vote santé!

HEY! We’re Allison & Shawn

And we LOVE sharing our passion for Temecula Wine Country

From the stunning views, to endless vineyards, thrilling adventures, good food and GREAT wine…join us for an insider journey through beautiful Temecula Wine Country.

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