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Winelists vs BYOB (morphed from BYOB Airing/Decanting Before Restaurant Dining)
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Folks

As you know, many wines need significant airing or decanting. However, most restaurants that will allow you to BYOW will not allow obviously pre-openned bottles. There is a solution.

My solution has been to obtain push in corks (the ones with the wider plastic tops and cork bottoms) and slip on capsules (which can be heat shrunk onto the bottle). The preceding is available from any bottle your own wine shop. Actual corks and lever driven corking machines are also available to the consumer, and produce a more asthetic result, but simple plastic topped corks are sufficient for this purpose.

I then decant the wine to taste, rebottle and (if a fragile wine) add argon to the bottle. I then cork, pop on the capsule and shrink/seal with a heat gun (although a hot hair dryer might work).

And voila! A perfectly sealed bottle that your favorite restaurant would be legally happy to open for you.

Very helpful when there is insufficient airing or decant time (or proper decanters) at the restaurant.

Just a thought!

Jhcolman

I have enjoyed great health at a great age because everyday since I can remember I have consumed a bottle of wine except when I have not felt well. Then I have consumed two bottles. - Bishop of Seville

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


I have enjoyed great health at a great age because everyday since I can remember I have consumed a bottle of wine except when I have not felt well. Then I have consumed two bottles. - Bishop of Seville
 
Posts: 867 | Location: Toronto | Registered: Jul 26, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I go to some BYO places that don't even ask to open my wines. They just ask me if I need a corkscrew and "nice" glasses. I bring my own, so no need. Thus, if I have a wine that needs air, I double decant earlier in the day.

For other places that are more picky, I sometimes call ahead and ask if I can bring it already opened, and explain why. Usually no problem, as long as I'm willing to pay the corkage.

For other places that are super finicky, I make sure they have a decanter available and open it as soon as we're seated.

Your solution might work, but I've never needed to be that sneaky. Of course, Canada might be a very different beast than Hawaii ))


********
"But, if ye wish her grateful prayer,
Gie her a haggis!" -Robert Burns
 
Posts: 1671 | Location: Traded Paradise for the frozen Finger Lakes | Registered: Feb 28, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The only time this became an issue I waiting until enough other folks (and bottles) showed up and then sneaked in the pre-opened bottle. Since then, I've always asked the restaurant before bringing a pre-decanted bottle and then either selected a different restaurant (if within my control) or a different bottle.
 
Posts: 2957 | Location: San Diego, CA | Registered: Nov 19, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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jhcolman,

You're idea is great, but I have never had an issue with a pre-opened bottle at a restaurant. California's pretty corkage friendly general, so maybe it's a regional issue.

I did, however, run into an issue with a wine that I brought that was already on a restaurant's list (even the same vintage). The Somm tried to be snooty about it, exclaiming that "Normally, we would charge the list price as the corkage." When I responded by saying, "Normally, respectable restaurants publish their wine list online to avoid this," that was all I heard of it.
 
Posts: 1608 | Location: Murrieta, CA | Registered: Mar 14, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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How do you decant a bottle that has previously been shaken by a long transport? Depot moving around in the bottle, that needs ages be before it settles down.


There is nothing in our intelligence that has not passed by the senses. (Aristoteles)
 
Posts: 1933 | Location: Luxemburg | Registered: Nov 15, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have brought a decanter a few times. No issue.


Live simply, Laugh often, Wine a lot!!!
 
Posts: 6416 | Location: Palm Beach Gardens FL | Registered: Nov 05, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by haggis:
I go to some BYO places that don't even ask to open my wines. They just ask me if I need a corkscrew and "nice" glasses. I bring my own, so no need. Thus, if I have a wine that needs air, I double decant earlier in the day.

For other places that are more picky, I sometimes call ahead and ask if I can bring it already opened, and explain why. Usually no problem, as long as I'm willing to pay the corkage.

For other places that are super finicky, I make sure they have a decanter available and open it as soon as we're seated.

Your solution might work, but I've never needed to be that sneaky. Of course, Canada might be a very different beast than Hawaii ))


I've found the approach Haggis outlined above to work. There are enough restaurants in Toronto that do corkage, and are accommodating, that if they were sticklers on the 'pre-opened' point, I'd take my business elsewhere.

The other point is that when bringing a pre-opened bottle (double decanted at home), it is usually on an night when we have many bottles to open. On those occasions, I've never seen a restaurant balk at a capsule that has been removed.
 
Posts: 1954 | Location: Etobicoke (Toronto burb) | Registered: Apr 14, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Never had any problem but maybe things are different in Toronto? I'm not surprised there are rules like that somewhere. Too bad people have to go thru all that just to have a glass of wine. Cripes.


"The best part is how he said the ENGLISH language. Fine irony. Use American next time."
 
Posts: 2666 | Location: NY | Registered: Dec 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by GregT:
Never had any problem but maybe things are different in Toronto? I'm not surprised there are rules like that somewhere. Too bad people have to go thru all that just to have a glass of wine. Cripes.

yea i agree
i've got my flask for those times i just can't wait ;-)


This is my sig -> www.brownteacup.com
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Posts: 12383 | Location: NYC | Registered: Feb 16, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by GregT:
Never had any problem but maybe things are different in Toronto? I'm not surprised there are rules like that somewhere. Too bad people have to go thru all that just to have a glass of wine. Cripes.


I do not know how widespread this issue is. The Toronto restaurant in question told me that BYOB requires a special Provincial license and that this licence requires that bottles be sealed when brought to the restaurant. They are otherwise a favourite local haunt of ours, so my approach skirts that issue.

I also recall an offline, wherein the owner or sommelier said "I'll just pretend that I openned that bottle for you".

Does anyone know the actual Provinvial regulations around this? Just curious.

Thanks

jhcolman


I have enjoyed great health at a great age because everyday since I can remember I have consumed a bottle of wine except when I have not felt well. Then I have consumed two bottles. - Bishop of Seville
 
Posts: 867 | Location: Toronto | Registered: Jul 26, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have been questioned in California when bringing in a bottle that I have already decanted, but an offer to share the wine and/or a $20 bill usually takes care of things...
 
Posts: 231 | Registered: Jun 11, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by jhcolman:


I do not know how widespread this issue is. The Toronto restaurant in question told me that BYOB requires a special Provincial license and that this licence requires that bottles be sealed when brought to the restaurant. They are otherwise a favourite local haunt of ours, so my approach skirts that issue.

I also recall an offline, wherein the owner or sommelier said "I'll just pretend that I openned that bottle for you".

Does anyone know the actual Provinvial regulations around this? Just curious.

Thanks

jhcolman




The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has a pretty informative website, with lots of explanatory FAQs for the Liquor License Act. Here's the relevant one, under "Bring Your Own Wine:"

For BYOW, only commercially-made wine is permitted to be brought onto the licensed premises by patrons. Wine brought onto the premises by the patron must be unopened (i.e., manufacturer seal not broken). No homemade wine or wine made at a ferment on premise facility is permitted.

We have pretty much the same rules in BC, perhaps even a bit more stringent. I'm grateful enough just to be able to bring a bottle of wine with me to dinner these days, and wouldn't do anything to compromise a restaurant's situation after being allowed what really is a very recent and welcome privilege for us.


___________________________

Cheers!
 
Posts: 8581 | Location: Vancouver, BC | Registered: Oct 17, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wow. That pretty much eliminates advance decanting entirely. We decant in advance about 1/2 the time.

The whole reason many people want to bring their own is because it might be older, which means it might have sediment, etc. So they are supposed to shake it up on the trip?

Wine laws are stupid the world over it seems. Too bad.

But you're right - you don't want to compromise the place by flouting the rule.


"The best part is how he said the ENGLISH language. Fine irony. Use American next time."
 
Posts: 2666 | Location: NY | Registered: Dec 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by GregT:
Wow. That pretty much eliminates advance decanting entirely. We decant in advance about 1/2 the time.

The whole reason many people want to bring their own is because it might be older, which means it might have sediment, etc. So they are supposed to shake it up on the trip?

Wine laws are stupid the world over it seems. Too bad.

But you're right - you don't want to compromise the place by flouting the rule.


Greg, when it comes to stupid liquor laws, I can proudly state that my country takes a back seat to no one! NO one!

I wish I could still say the same for hockey. Smile


___________________________

Cheers!
 
Posts: 8581 | Location: Vancouver, BC | Registered: Oct 17, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by GregT:
Wow. That pretty much eliminates advance decanting entirely. We decant in advance about 1/2 the time.

The whole reason many people want to bring their own is because it might be older, which means it might have sediment, etc. So they are supposed to shake it up on the trip?

Wine laws are stupid the world over it seems. Too bad.

But you're right - you don't want to compromise the place by flouting the rule.


And I thought that prohibition had been quashed decades ago. Time for some lobbying to eridicate the last vestiges of Puritanism from governments.

We really do need to work harder to break down all these silly wine regs.

In the mean time, either early decanting at the restaurant or proper resealing of the bottle at home should keep our restaurant friends out of trouble.

Cheers

Julian


I have enjoyed great health at a great age because everyday since I can remember I have consumed a bottle of wine except when I have not felt well. Then I have consumed two bottles. - Bishop of Seville
 
Posts: 867 | Location: Toronto | Registered: Jul 26, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I usually decant my wines and place the cork back in - I've never had a problem with "opened bottles" in NYC or NJ.
 
Posts: 757 | Location: NYC | Registered: Feb 25, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Seaquam:
quote:
Originally posted by jhcolman:


I do not know how widespread this issue is. The Toronto restaurant in question told me that BYOB requires a special Provincial license and that this licence requires that bottles be sealed when brought to the restaurant. They are otherwise a favourite local haunt of ours, so my approach skirts that issue.

I also recall an offline, wherein the owner or sommelier said "I'll just pretend that I openned that bottle for you".

Does anyone know the actual Provinvial regulations around this? Just curious.

Thanks

jhcolman




The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario has a pretty informative website, with lots of explanatory FAQs for the Liquor License Act. Here's the relevant one, under "Bring Your Own Wine:"

For BYOW, only commercially-made wine is permitted to be brought onto the licensed premises by patrons. Wine brought onto the premises by the patron must be unopened (i.e., manufacturer seal not broken). No homemade wine or wine made at a ferment on premise facility is permitted.

We have pretty much the same rules in BC, perhaps even a bit more stringent. I'm grateful enough just to be able to bring a bottle of wine with me to dinner these days, and wouldn't do anything to compromise a restaurant's situation after being allowed what really is a very recent and welcome privilege for us.

When BYO was first introduced in Ontario, restaurants were very careful to observe the exact terms of the regulation. However, things have become much more relaxed in the past 2 years and bringing (as well as taking home) recorked wines doesn't seem to be an issue in the restaurants I go to nowadays.

However, you still need to ask and not be presumptious in case the restaurant owner is skittish about doing this.
 
Posts: 5181 | Location: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Feb 14, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I've had a restaurant raise the issue (I told them that I was BYOBing but not that it would be opened) They gave me grief but didn't refuse the bottle.

Easy answer though it the same one the butler uses. Ah-So.


Looking forward to those mags of '08 Salon.
 
Posts: 2458 | Location: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 04, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by jhcolman:
quote:
Originally posted by GregT:
Wow. That pretty much eliminates advance decanting entirely. We decant in advance about 1/2 the time.

The whole reason many people want to bring their own is because it might be older, which means it might have sediment, etc. So they are supposed to shake it up on the trip?

Wine laws are stupid the world over it seems. Too bad.

But you're right - you don't want to compromise the place by flouting the rule.


And I thought that prohibition had been quashed decades ago. Time for some lobbying to eridicate the last vestiges of Puritanism from governments.

We really do need to work harder to break down all these silly wine regs.

In the mean time, either early decanting at the restaurant or proper resealing of the bottle at home should keep our restaurant friends out of trouble.

Cheers

Julian

When you look at most states, I don't think the current BYOB laws are vestiges of Puritanism as much as they are designed to help the economy or the restaurant biz, depending on how you look at it. I mean, the entire state of MA doesn't allow BYOB and that's not really what I would consider a puritanical state. It's a state that tries to squeeze every last dime out of you with tolls, taxes, etc., but they're not prudish about alcohol.

You know, just out of curiosity...when people BYOB, is it more because you don't want to pay for the wine in a restaurant? Or more because you have a special bottle that the restaurant can't provide? I've heard people say both and I've always wondered which was more prevalent.
 
Posts: 142 | Registered: Aug 19, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Rob_Sutherland:
I've had a restaurant raise the issue (I told them that I was BYOBing but not that it would be opened) They gave me grief but didn't refuse the bottle.

Easy answer though it the same one the butler uses. Ah-So.


Ah so and a replacement heat shrunk capsule.

Never tried ah-so to put a cork back in a bottle. Does it work? Easily?

jhcolman


I have enjoyed great health at a great age because everyday since I can remember I have consumed a bottle of wine except when I have not felt well. Then I have consumed two bottles. - Bishop of Seville
 
Posts: 867 | Location: Toronto | Registered: Jul 26, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Bdxforwine;

I never bring a bottle of white to a restaurant BYOB, only reds. KY allows BYOB and I will occasionally bring reds for a couple of reasons:

1. The wine list sucks but the food is good;
2. The red wines on the list are all very young, < 3 years old, and need extensive decanting.

I will choose the wine I want to take and decant it at home, to my tastes, and pour back into the bottle. I might double decant at the restaurant, but typically not.

I refuse to pay big bucks for a wine in a restaurant that is wound up tigher than a rubber band upon opening and that may only show tannins for the first hour+. Horse I want the wine to compliment the meal, not do battle with it!
 
Posts: 1902 | Registered: Jul 17, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Bordeaux4Wino:
quote:
Originally posted by jhcolman:
quote:
Originally posted by GregT:
Wow. That pretty much eliminates advance decanting entirely. We decant in advance about 1/2 the time.

The whole reason many people want to bring their own is because it might be older, which means it might have sediment, etc. So they are supposed to shake it up on the trip?

Wine laws are stupid the world over it seems. Too bad.

But you're right - you don't want to compromise the place by flouting the rule.


And I thought that prohibition had been quashed decades ago. Time for some lobbying to eridicate the last vestiges of Puritanism from governments.

We really do need to work harder to break down all these silly wine regs.

In the mean time, either early decanting at the restaurant or proper resealing of the bottle at home should keep our restaurant friends out of trouble.

Cheers

Julian

When you look at most states, I don't think the current BYOB laws are vestiges of Puritanism as much as they are designed to help the economy or the restaurant biz, depending on how you look at it. I mean, the entire state of MA doesn't allow BYOB and that's not really what I would consider a puritanical state. It's a state that tries to squeeze every last dime out of you with tolls, taxes, etc., but they're not prudish about alcohol.

You know, just out of curiosity...when people BYOB, is it more because you don't want to pay for the wine in a restaurant? Or more because you have a special bottle that the restaurant can't provide? I've heard people say both and I've always wondered which was more prevalent.


I BYOB because of:

- poor or insufficient selection

- ultra high pricing on better bottles, especially older bottles

- my desire to bring a special bottle

If more restaurants in Toronto had better selection at decent prices, I'd be inclined to buy their wine. Sadly, many restaurants choose their wine lists poorly. I do not seek marque or expensive wines, just decent QPR.


I have enjoyed great health at a great age because everyday since I can remember I have consumed a bottle of wine except when I have not felt well. Then I have consumed two bottles. - Bishop of Seville
 
Posts: 867 | Location: Toronto | Registered: Jul 26, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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i find the opposite in ny

the better bottles are usually teh ones with the least mark ups.

but the desire to bring a special bottle and my laziness to cook is typically the reason


This is my sig -> www.brownteacup.com
www.wsqwine.com
(Wine distributor)
 
Posts: 12383 | Location: NYC | Registered: Feb 16, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You know, just out of curiosity...when people BYOB, is it more because you don't want to pay for the wine in a restaurant? Or more because you have a special bottle that the restaurant can't provide? I've heard people say both and I've always wondered which was more prevalent.

Kind of both. If I have an older bottle, I usually didn't buy it in the current market. I don't want to pay the full retail mark up in any case, much less for something with some age. I have a bottle that I paid $15 for and I have to pay someone $90?

That's reason one. But more likely, it's because we're going to drink something that they don't have or want to do a selection of wines from a particular region/vintage/winemaker, and sometimes both. I take winemakers out from time to time and want to show them things that they might not get, or want to show their wines to other people. I'm not going to go into a restaurant with a bottle of Columbia Crest. I may go in with a bottle that's not imported or a bottle that is older than what they're going to have.

Tomorrow I'm probably going to go out with a few friends and I'll show them some wine that they'll never get in the US - it was never imported and the vintages go back a few years. Normally I'd do it at home but it's a weeknight and it's a long trip for them and I don't have any time to cook so we'll just go out.

Only time it backfired was when we went into a place and the guy said it was OK as long as we didn't have anything on his list. Fine, we said, and pulled out a 1973 Spanish wine. Well now, he said, and showed us that very wine on his list.

He got a bigger kick out of our stupefied expressions than he would have had we ordered his wine, so he laughed and brought us some great glasses and hung out with us and tasted our wine thru the evening.


"The best part is how he said the ENGLISH language. Fine irony. Use American next time."
 
Posts: 2666 | Location: NY | Registered: Dec 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for the various perspectives. I was just curious.
I never get snooty with BYOBers and I am always gracious about it.
I never even give people a hard time about previously opened bottles or even if someone brings in a bottle that I have on the list....as happened over this past weekend when someone brought a 2006 Turley Dusi, which I DID have on my list. I just noted that he had a great wine...not a word more. I do charge what some might think to be a hefty corkage ($25), but I even waive that if the guest proceeds to then buy something else off the list.
I am however frustrated and maybe just amused by it sometimes. I totally understand bringing a bottle of that special, hard-to-find wine. But often, that's not what I see. I work hard to offer a list that includes around 1400 selections at a Relais & Chateau and I've seen people, who are paying maybe $1500/night for a room, go out to a wine store and bring back a $25 bottle of Mollydooker Maitre 'D and I'm thinking, with the corkage, that's $50 and I could have found you something really nice in that price point off the list. I just believe in supporting our wine programs out there too...right?
For instance, there's a regular from the Boston area who vacations here a lot and he loves me to work my magic for him. He's the best kind of guest--always wanting to try something he hasn't had and with deep pockets. He always orders a white and a red. So, I've poured stuff like Aubert and Peter Michael Les Pavots...you get the picture. He loves it! I've known him for about a year, but only last month did I find out that he has this really great collection of around 2000 bottles back home and he started telling me about some of the stuff he has and I was floored. I asked him why he never brings his own wine? And he told me he does BYOB a lot, at OTHER places, and that there's no other place he goes to where he drops the kind of $$ that he does here. But, he said, he likes my wine program so much that he wants to make sure it gets supported the way it should, so that I can continue to do what I do. I just thought that was really cool of him...that's all.
 
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