Well, now that we’ve completed our countdown of the “Top 10 Sexy Wines of All-Time” and taken a cold shower, we can get back to normal everyday activities… like dining out.
Of course, you may want to enjoy one of those 10 sexy wines when you do, and not all restaurants carry all 10. In fact, it would be rare to find a restaurant that stocks even half of our selections.
What to do? Seek out a wine-friendly restaurant and bring your own bottle.
A bonus: In a vast majority of cases, BYOB restaurants can save you a ton of money, since most restaurants mark up their wines two to three times above retail.
That said, here are five things to know before you BYOB…
1. There is no federal law dealing with diners bringing their own wine into a restaurant. However, all states have their own guidelines, and some cities do as well. And even in states where the practice is allowed, an individual restaurant may ban the practice. So, when making a dinner reservation, be sure to inquire about the policies at that restaurant.
2. Restaurants may or may not choose to invoke “corkage” — a fee collected to offset the cost of glassware, not to mention lost revenue. To discourage patrons from bringing their own bottles, some restaurants set their corkage fee extremely high. So, when making that reservation, also inquire about corkage.
3. Restaurants that charge corkage generally keep the fee; it is not considered a tip. So, if your server handled the wine service professionally, don’t forget to adjust his or her tip accordingly.
4. It’s bad karma to bring in a bottle that is available on the restaurant’s wine list. Such an act also may cause the restaurant owner to reconsider his generous BYOB policy. Being allowed to bring in your own bottle is a privilege, so don’t abuse it.
5. Even though you brought your own wine, you may not be allowed to take any leftover wine home; again, state and local laws apply. In states where it is allowed, open container laws still apply, so re-cork or re-seal the bottle and place it in your car’s trunk.