Corkage at a restaurant

Corkage at a restaurant – can you a cheap bottle of wine

can you bring cheap wine to a restaurant

Can you bring a bottle of cheap wine to a restaurant?

Can you bring a bottle of cheap wine to a restaurant?

Ask yourself why you’d want to bring a bottle of cheap vino to a restaurant (under $20). It is a bad idea if the thought is to save money. Most restaurants take pride in preparing their wine lists. They want to match their food menu with a selection of wines with a broad price range.

Corkage guidelines for bringing an inexpensive bottle of wine to a restaurant.

  • Bring a wine that has some importance and meaning even though it might be inexpensive.
  • Don’t bring a second label wine as in Trader Joe’s, Kirkland or Cameron Hughes.
  • Bring a  wine is made by a boutique winery or family-owned winery. Example – Terra Savia Chardonnay,  Sabon Estate Zinfandel, or Blue Quail Wines from Mendocino.
  • Bring a wine that is an older vintage, one that has been aging in your cellar.
  • If a restaurant has a meager wine list, you have more latitude
  • The fancier the restaurant (Michelin star), the better idea it is to choose from the wine list.

Additional thoughts on corkage

  • Always call ahead to find out what the corkage policy is a restaurant. Often in a restaurant’s corkage policy, they will charge you the restaurant wine list price for your wine if it happens to be on their wine list. If the corkage fee is high, $25 or more, your inexpensive bottle of wine becomes high priced.
  • Of course, you can try bringing any wine to a restaurant. Manners are manners! I once witnessed a party bring in Two Buck Chuck to a Calistoga restaurant.
  • One of the downsides of bringing wine to a restaurant is it doesn’t make sense if you are into pairing food and wine.  It limits your choices. If the special of the night is a seafood pasta and you have a big Cabernet, forget about having the special of the night. Get the ribeye
2014 Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet
2014 Robert Mondavi Napa Valley Cabernet – great Cab for your wine cellar

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