WineSpectator.com    Wine Spectator Forums  Hop To Forum Categories  Wine Conversations    Corkage story II....
Page 1 2 
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Corkage story II....
 Login/Join 
Member
posted
Went out last night with some friends to a nice restaurant in Bal Harbour.

We order a bottle of champagne off their wine list and brought three bottles of wine.

At the end the bill included a corkage fee and separately a sommelier fee. I have never seen this before. They had nice stemware but didn't decant any of our wines they only poured them and by the way we offer a tasting of screaming eagle to the waiter and the sommelier.

We didn't care paying those fees but I felt it was awkward.....

Thoughts???
 
Posts: 2309 | Location: Florida | Registered: Sep 22, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
All smelly-airs should be hanged from the neck until dead.

Corkage is one thing but a charge for the wine fetcher is ridiculous. If the service deserves a tip, then fine. Otherwise, no.


--------------------
"One may dislike carrots, spinach, beetroot, or the skin on hot milk. But not wine. It is like hating the air that one breathes, since each is equally indispensable."

Marcel Ayme`
 
Posts: 10227 | Location: The Left Coast | Registered: Dec 01, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Unless you were informed of the fee beforehand, or there were multiple written notices of it on both the regular menus and wine lists, I would question what their motivation was to arbitrarily tack on such a charge. Very, very classless IMO. Why don't they tack on charges for the busboy, cooks and hostesses while they're at it?
 
Posts: 891 | Location: San Francisco Bay Area | Registered: Aug 30, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Maybe when they saw the screaming eagle they thought you would be generous enough that they can get away with it unnoticed.

How much was this "sommelier fee" by the way?


"Believe me, you can count on Slippery Pete" - Kramer
 
Posts: 1444 | Location: Vancouver, BC | Registered: Jun 19, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I would have protested the charge. You were not informed of it in advance. I'd also post the name of the restaurant and send them a link. The sommelier/pest did nothing for you but drink some of your wine.


Just one more sip.
 
Posts: 36898 | Location: NY | Registered: Oct 18, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Never heard of a somm fee. I probably wouldn't have made an issue of it at the time, but certainly would be in touch with the restaurant management to let them know my thoughts.

When you're charged corkage, there is usually a presumption that some "wine service" is included.

PH
 
Posts: 15236 | Location: Maryland, USA (DC suburbs) | Registered: Nov 22, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I would have been pi$$ed about the sommelier fee. Paying a corkage fee is no issue IMO, but a sommelier fee? Isn't the justification for the massive markup on wines at restaurants that they have to pay a somm, keep a selection of stems/decanters etc.? If there's a sommelier fee, that wine better be charged at retail prices - I'm sure it was not.


Show me a good loser, I'll show you a loser - Vince Lombardi.
 
Posts: 2417 | Location: Toronto | Registered: Jun 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I have good money that bets the sommelier fee is his/her replacement commission. Many sommeliers are paid a percentage of wine sales. He/she wasn't getting a dime off of your bottles so therefore...


Joe
-----
Wine is like potato chips around me...if it's open, it's gone.

MyBlog @ www.wineismylife.net
 
Posts: 13605 | Location: Arlington, Texas | Registered: Aug 30, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by wineismylife:
I have good money that bets the sommelier fee is his/her replacement commission. Many sommeliers are paid a percentage of wine sales. He/she wasn't getting a dime off of your bottles so therefore...


Shouldn't he get a percentage of the corkage fee in that instance?

This message has been edited. Last edited by: CSM,


Show me a good loser, I'll show you a loser - Vince Lombardi.
 
Posts: 2417 | Location: Toronto | Registered: Jun 05, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Post the story to yelp and chowhound. People need to know about BS like this.
 
Posts: 1661 | Location: Toronto, ON | Registered: Apr 05, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I don't know, sounds like he helped select the wines and match them to the food and kept them at the correct temperature for you and decanted them and kept bringing you clean glasses and basically worked his fingers to the bone to please you. I think you should have given him a fee AND a nice big tip.

I wonder if we'll start seeing waiter fees, busboy fees and waterboy fees now. Should probably leave a little something for the landlord too because he makes it all possible.


"The best part is how he said the ENGLISH language. Fine irony. Use American next time."
 
Posts: 2649 | Location: NY | Registered: Dec 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
What this forum needs is more sarcasm. Smile


Punch it , Chewie!
 
Posts: 1381 | Location: Edmonton | Registered: Jul 15, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
dying to know how much the somm fee was, and what restaurant you went to, so I can make it a point to steer clear.
 
Posts: 5015 | Location: Miami | Registered: Mar 30, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Everyday restaurant wine service seems to get closer to strip clubs. If I have to pay everyone in the place a fee, someone is getting naked.


Paul Romero (tlily)- Owner, Winemaker, Tour Guide
Stefania Wine
http://www.stefaniawine.com
 
Posts: 7675 | Location: Gilroy, CA  | Registered: May 24, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
The sommelier fee is $ick.

It all reinforces the need to clarify costs and fees at the start.

It also makes me appreciate some of the restaurants here in T.O. that give us good wine service, whether we bring stems and decanters or not. We in return always share a taste - often with the waiter, sommelier, cook... And tip generously. When we have offlines, the bill is never below $100 per person.

We are fortunate enough in Toronto to have enough restaurants that are reasonable with corkage that it makes avoiding those that aren't - easy.
 
Posts: 1930 | Location: Etobicoke (Toronto burb) | Registered: Apr 14, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
You should have billed them for the Screaming Eagle they tasted
 
Posts: 150 | Location: Vancouver | Registered: Apr 16, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stefania Wine:
If I have to pay everyone in the place a fee, someone is getting naked.


Wise words... wise words.
 
Posts: 5015 | Location: Miami | Registered: Mar 30, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Stefania Wine:
Everyday restaurant wine service seems to get closer to strip clubs. If I have to pay everyone in the place a fee, someone is getting naked.


Be careful what you wish for. I've been to plenty of places where I'd pay everybody to keep their clothes on.....

PH
 
Posts: 15236 | Location: Maryland, USA (DC suburbs) | Registered: Nov 22, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Yeah, I don't know Paul . . . PH has a point.

Although you could always moon them!


"The best part is how he said the ENGLISH language. Fine irony. Use American next time."
 
Posts: 2649 | Location: NY | Registered: Dec 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by redknife:
Went out last night with some friends to a nice restaurant in Bal Harbour.

We order a bottle of champagne off their wine list and brought three bottles of wine.

At the end the bill included a corkage fee and separately a sommelier fee. I have never seen this before. They had nice stemware but didn't decant any of our wines they only poured them and by the way we offer a tasting of screaming eagle to the waiter and the sommelier.

We didn't care paying those fees but I felt it was awkward.....

Thoughts???


How much was the corkage and how much was the sommelier fee?


--------------------------
Powell Yang
Director
Clarets Hong Kong Ltd.
 
Posts: 7003 | Location: HKG - TPE - TAO | Registered: Sep 10, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Was there any indication of what the difference was (purpose, not amount) in the somm fee and corkage fee? You brought bottles and brought a bottle, would you have been charged a somm fee had you not brought bottles?

I'm just thinking that if they had a corkage fee already and they are different amounts, perhaps there is some other purpose to the somm fee other than what the corkage fee covers (though I can't imagine what they would be.)


Jim
That's, RedLoverJim to you
 
Posts: 97 | Location: Fort Worth, TX | Registered: Mar 14, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by CSM:
quote:
Originally posted by wineismylife:
I have good money that bets the sommelier fee is his/her replacement commission. Many sommeliers are paid a percentage of wine sales. He/she wasn't getting a dime off of your bottles so therefore...


Shouldn't he get a percentage of the corkage fee in that instance?


Maybe but I'm betting the corkage fee goes to the house.


Joe
-----
Wine is like potato chips around me...if it's open, it's gone.

MyBlog @ www.wineismylife.net
 
Posts: 13605 | Location: Arlington, Texas | Registered: Aug 30, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Gundam:
Maybe when they saw the screaming eagle they thought you would be generous enough that they can get away with it unnoticed.

How much was this "sommelier fee" by the way?


$15.00 per bottle
 
Posts: 2309 | Location: Florida | Registered: Sep 22, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by jorgerunfrombulls:
dying to know how much the somm fee was, and what restaurant you went to, so I can make it a point to steer clear.


Restaurant was J&G grill at the St. Regis in Bal Harbour

Sommelier fee was $15.00 per bottle and corkage $30.00 per bottle

We did know there was a corkage fee but not a sommelier fee

Food and the limited wine service was good.
 
Posts: 2309 | Location: Florida | Registered: Sep 22, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by redknife:
quote:
Originally posted by jorgerunfrombulls:
dying to know how much the somm fee was, and what restaurant you went to, so I can make it a point to steer clear.


Restaurant was J&G grill at the St. Regis in Bal Harbour

Sommelier fee was $15.00 per bottle and corkage $30.00 per bottle

We did know there was a corkage fee but not a sommelier fee

Food and the limited wine service was good.


that's terrible!

i think the only time i've ever paid a sommelier fee was at this restaurant in ny (which name escapes me but it's closed now) where we told the somm what wines we were bringing and he had the chef make 6 different steak tartars and a carpaccio to pair with the wines we were bringing.

To which the chef adjusted the recipe and brought out 6 more different steak tartars after we opened the bottles and sent some back


This is my sig -> www.brownteacup.com
www.wsqwine.com
(Wine distributor)
 
Posts: 12248 | Location: NYC | Registered: Feb 16, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata Page 1 2  
 

WineSpectator.com    Wine Spectator Forums  Hop To Forum Categories  Wine Conversations    Corkage story II....

© Wine Spectator 2013