If any restaurant wants to be listed here please let me know. I've had very little mention of restaurants new or existing that are doing much with the corkage and BYOB programmes in the last year. I'll adjust the blog if notified of any changes; otherwise I'll randomly check here now and then. Thanks Stephen
Kanpeki Teppanyaki Richmond $0 free Keg Restaurants $25 Kitsilano Daily Kitchen Free to $25 (Free if vintage pre 2000 or no longer available in shops, free for specific BC varieties on Mondays i.e. 1st Monday of month Pinot Noir, 2nd Monday Syrah, 3rd Monday for Sauvignon Blanc, 4th Monday for Bordeaux blends, 5th Monday for any bottle purchased at Village Wines VQA shop; Monday free corkage not valid on statutory holidays)
These are enlightening times for British Columbian wine
drinkers who now have the option of BYOW in some participating restaurants. The biggest issue after you’ve
decided on your wine to bring is that of “corkage”: the fee charged by the
restaurant to open and serve your wine. Corkage looks to vary from a very low
$2 to a steep $60 depending on the
restaurant. Some restaurants may offer reduced or no corkage specials at their discretion.
Why is a restaurant charging corkage? Alcohol sales help the
bottom line expenses i.e. staff wages, rent, power and
gas, licenses, banking fees, stemware breakage…the list goes on. In fine dining
establishments your wine will be handled by a sommelier who will treat your
wine professionally from decanting, serving, as well as steering you in the right food pairing
restaurant regarding corkage fees
Remember that BYOW is not the law and is not accepted at all restaurants. Call ahead to insure you
can bring your own bottle and avoid any embarrassment.
What wine to bring
Have a look at the restaurant’s wine list on-line. Bring a
bottle that s not on the list.
Delivery of wine
If you have a special mature vintage look at dropping the
wine off 24 hours ahead of your reservation. This will allow the restaurant to
prepare your wine for decanting. If you are bringing a white or sparkling
consider chilling it first. Arriving
with the wine in an insulated bag or carrier adds some class to your arrival.
Don’t bring rubbish
BYOB is a privilege; bringing a cheap bottle of wine says “ you
do not care” much about restaurant or their clientele. This is important in fine dining restaurants.
I suggest buying a wine that is in the similar caliber or better than what is
on the list.
Offer the Sommelier/Server
In fine dining establishments or wine centric bars your
server most likely has an interest in wine. Offering a taste creates an instant
rapport and you may get some great food pairing suggestions for your special
Eat out mid week and not just weekends
Friday and Saturdays are traditionally the busiest nights in
the restaurant industry. BYOB on slower nights shows great respect to the
restaurant and staff. Sunday through Wednesday’s are usually slower nights so
you should experience more attentive service verses the hustle and bustle of a
Don’t be cheap with
Remember to base your tip on the final bill that will
include the corkage fee. Hopefully restaurants offering corkage will treat your
wine with due respect; served correctly and in proper stemware, and by a wine
There is no set structure for the corkage fee. It will be decided
by the restaurant and can be free to over $60 a bottle. Expect additional fees
if you bring more than one bottle or larger format bottles.
If your BYOB is corked I would expect a restaurant to waive
the corkage fee. Consider bringing more than one bottle to avoid this issue or
be prepared to buy off the wine list.
C&S CHURCH AND STATE
Only bottles purchased through a BCLDB distribution channel can be opened at participating restaurant. Opened bottles are not allowed. Serving It Right rules apply. You can take the remaining wine home in a sealed tote and it must not be within reach of a driver of an automobile. You will be charged HST on corkage.