Skip to main content

Replies sorted oldest to newest

I picked $11 - $20, but I won't shun a place up to $25. I'd have to really wanna eat there if I'm gonna pay more than $25. $20 is my "meh" point, and $15 and under is awesome IMO.

I'm very impartial to the food / ambiance at Houston's, but the fact that they don't charge corkage makes me really like the place.

There's a nice italian place here that only charges $10 which I can honestly say is the only reason I frequent it. My favorite restaurant charges $25 and I don't go as often as i'd like because i hate paying $25 corkage.
My favorite BYOB here (Lucio's) only charges $5, and often waives the fee.

But it's not legal to bring in wine to every restaurant here, so that really narrows the selection down.

edit: Don't take my statement to mean Lucio's isn't an absolutely fantastic restaurant, it's definitely in my top 10 Houston restaurants in general.
Last edited by nolane
Originally posted by Board-O:
There are too many variables for me to answer that question.

Completely agree.

Most in Dallas are around $10 I'm guessing, and most will wave if you are a good customer. Now that said, Picasso in Vegas was $25 ( I think) but they also waved my wines on my last visit. I was more than willing to pay their corkage though.
I wouldn't mind paying $15-$20 pp if the restaurant provides excellent stemware and decants the wine for you.

At PDH, I believe we were charged $10 for poor stemware. At a steakhouse in NYC, we were able to get them to waive their corkage, but I would have happily paid $20 because they provided as many excellent wine glasses as we requested and they decanted our wines.

At another restaurant in Healdsburg, corkage was waived because we brought in a local wine. Again, I would have gladly paid corkage because they provided great service with our wine.

Unfortunately at most BYO restaurants in NJ, their stemware stinks and charging more than $5 is a crime.
I believe that any price the restaurant owner wants to charge is reasonable. Living in a state where it is outlawed, gives one a different perspective on the issue. If you don't like the corkage you can (a) not go there; or (b) try something off the wine list which the owner may have 1000s of dollars invested in. At least you have choices.

When on the road, I like places that don't allow corkage on wine that's on the establishment's wine list. Hearing all the whining because they can bought the wine, retail, at $40 and the restaurant sells it for $75 and won't open the customer's wine! SmileI'd charge the jerk $100 corkage for just walking in the door with it!
Originally posted by Berno:
It definitely depends on the restaurant. To me, the $50 corkage at the French Laundry is insane. Anything above $30 silly, to me.
Not insane compared to the markup on the wines on their list.

If you want to eat at what is arguably one of the best restaurants in California, and you want to bring your own wine, that's just the tariff.

$25 is my comfort limit for most other restaurants. Seems to be $15 to $20 is normal for the better places around LoCal.
This is a somewhat flawed poll because it depends upon the restaurant.

The easy answer for me is $11-$20, which is what I chose.

When I go out to a nice restaurant (say, apps $8-$14, main courses $22-$29) I expect to pay $15 or $20 corkage, I'll be willing to pay up to $25 if it is a restaurant I really want to go to, but I think $20 is more reasonable.

If I'm going out to a $85+/person (food only) multi-course set menu Michelin starred type place where the wines we are bringing are likely to be worth at least $150 and are going to be treated perfectly by the staff, then I think $35 is reasonable, and I wouldn't be angry at anything $50 or under.

If I am going to my local Afghani or Nepalese place where they have mediocre stemware and I either (a) am bringing my own stems or (b) am using their mediocre ones, and they really don't do anything other than open the bottle for me, then I expect to be charged less than $15. $10 seems appropriate... although to be honest, if it is a local "ethnic" restaurant that I frequent, they'll probably waive corkage.
Originally posted by grossie:
Originally posted by KSC02:
Did I ever mention that in Montreal it's illegal to charge a corkage fee? Razz

Yes, but you pay an average of $40 per bottle monopoly fee to the Quebec gov't for every bottle you buy!

Not to thread drift, but I'm unsure what you're referring to, grossie.
Bordeaux I would say is all of that and likely more. Possibly California. For most others, I don't see that.
OR, they do charge that and it's soaked up in their spread after financially strangling the producer. Smile
Originally posted by winetarelli:
This is a somewhat flawed poll because it depends upon the restaurant.
I agree, that is the key. I would have no problem paying up to $50 at the right restaurant.

There are a couple wine friendly restaurants in OC that get more of our business because they have a very small corkage fee ($10 or less). Food still has to be good though. I would rather pay a hefty corkage with good food vs. a small corkage with average food.
Originally posted by MJAlbers:
Originally posted by Ed Bowers:
Anything over $ 15 is obscene. Just to open a bottle?
Obscene...disagree. It involves a little more than opening the bottle correct? Your enjoying your wine but it is on "shared" time as well. I understand and appreciate free or low corkage fees, but I also understand there is a bottom line for the restaurant.

I stand with the majority re the poll. this morning shows 22 votes on poll and every one is voting for less than $ 20.00. 85% of time when I bring a bottle the server just pops it at the table, no flourish, no real emphasis, and many times low quality stems. Like I said we also do tip nicely for meal and service,thus they pick up another $ 3.00++ in tips and tax.

Where does 'shared time' come into play?
Last edited by flwino
That's why I couldn't answer the question.

As for GA's response, I agree completely. Corkage is a service offered by the restaurant, whether they open the wine and supply stems or not, though that should factor into the fee. The restaurant is losing potential income by allowing us to bring in wine and they deserve to be compensated.
Originally posted by wine+art:
I also failed to mention we ordered a bottle of Champagne off of the menu.

This usually goes a long way towards management being quite generous with their charges.
I've found that there's a lot of latitude in these situations, including what the waiter marks down on your bill at the end. Wink
Originally posted by mitPradikat:
Originally posted by justme:
We officially charge $15, but waive it as often as we charge it.

Interesting. So, half the time the corkage is waived. Who gets to be in the lucky half of your clientele? Is it basically anyone you recognize to be a return customer? Just wondering in case I ever visit, how to be on the good side!

Much of it depends on if the guests have a cocktail or two in the bar before dinner, if they order appetizers, etc. Also regular guests and friends of employees.
Originally posted by Board-O:
That's why I couldn't answer the question.

As for GA's response, I agree completely. Corkage is a service offered by the restaurant, whether they open the wine and supply stems or not, though that should factor into the fee. The restaurant is losing potential income by allowing us to bring in wine and they deserve to be compensated.

Yep. It should equate to their mark-up on their lower-end range of bottles. Maybe not quite as good a deal as the lowest end bottles on their list.

It should not just be some alternative for cheap-asses to take advantage of. It shouldn't be a loophole. You shouldn't be bringing mediocre crap that's equal or less to what they have on the list.
$15 is the right amount. $20 is expensive, but okay. Anything higher and I am definitely not happy.

However, corkage, when offered to a wine collector is almost always worth it. If I'm going out to a really nice dinner, I don't want to skimp on the wine. French Laundry, Per Se, and their ilk offer fantastic dining experiences. Corkage may approach $100. Still, I'm taking a bottle that would be hundreds or even thousands on their list. If I can pair my prized bottle with Thomas Keller's prized food... although I'd rather pay $20, that is worth $90 to me.
As Randy said, almost any corkage is still a bargain compared to buying off a list (except Passionfish in Pacific Grove!). An offline, for example, where there is 12+ bottles then corkage needs to be minimal. I've been content to pay $25 on rare occasion because a $25 "tax" on my bottle is usually still a bargain versus buying off their wine list.

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.