Many restaurant owners have spent the time, effort and money on developing good wine lists. Many others choose not to focus on this area. That is, of course, their prerogative. But, whether they do or don’t, I find that the wine selection often doesn’t appeal to my particular tastes. [This is of course, understandable, as the list should be developed to appeal to as many people as possible.]
I’ve spent the last 20 years drinking wine seriously [probably much too seriously], and I find I really prefer certain specific varietals: Zinfandel, Syrah/Shiraz, Petite Sirah, and a few others, as well as specific producers. Our wine collection has been developed focusing on these varietals and producers and the fact is if restaurants didn’t allow me to bring my own wine, I’d probably just spend less time [and money] at restaurants and more time at home drinking my wine.
All that being said, I really appreciate that restaurants allow me to bring my own wine. They certainly don’t have to! And I don’t mind paying a reasonable corkage, especially if the stemware is appropriate. [Although I am very grateful for no corkage or waived corkage.] And, if the glassware isn’t up to snuff, I have no problem bringing my own. [Some people think that the glasses aren’t all that important. Well, for me, they are. Fortunately, I’ve acquired a nifty (albeit somewhat bulky) case for schlepping a bottle and a couple of glasses.]
One last thing about BYOB – share! We tend to share our wine with the owner, server and anybody else who happens to be around. If this means bringing an extra bottle so there is enough to go around, so be it. Remember, the restaurant owner does not have to allow you to bring your own bottle, so show your appreciation. And, tip appropriately – your server should not be punished because you brought a bottle instead of buying wine from the restaurant.
(Editor’s note: I know that Cavi Cucina has a Thursday no-corkage charge and Backwood’s Inn is only $5. If readers have any other restaurant corkage fees, that are worthy of advertising on this blog, please e-mail them to me at email@example.com or comment on this blog post so that we may all benefit from BYOB.)