Wednesday, February 23, 2011

BYOW in the Commonwealth of Virginia

A bill has been passed by the Virginia House of Delegates which allows patrons to bring their own bottle of wine to restaurants. Endorsed by the RAMW, the measure will likely create a fee that customers pay to the restaurant for corkage. Indeed, it appears that this development is a positive one for the consumer. And while I have never felt the need to bring a bottle of my own vino into an establishment, I surely know someone who probably has.

When passed into law, however, this provision will initially pose some interesting and challenging scenarios for the average Virginia restaurant worker. There will be the occasional guest who attempts to abuse the system. What if the customer brings an excessive amount of wine? What if the customer refuses the corkage fee?

Both the DCist and Food & Wine Magazine Online have great articles addressing customer etiquette and best-practices when bringing your own wine and facing a corkage policy. If you anticipate taking advantage of this privilege as a customer, you should read up and take note of the protocol. Don't be the one who brings in the same bottle of wine that is already offered on the menu.

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