Did you know the average industry markup on wine is two and a half to three times its wholesale cost? Crazy right?! This week we take a look at restaurants in San Francisco that have special nights during the week where you can uncork that bottle free of charge!
The wine is cloudy in the glass, a kind of pale-golden milk, wafting a cowshed’s worth of organic-matter aromas: wet earth, animal hide, sweet-smelling hay. When I taste it, its acidity sears. A tangy bacterial thing (see also: kombucha; sour beer) makes my mouth pucker, and among its pretty floral flavors there emerges a more pungent biotic note, reminiscent of cannabis.
A website that maps restaurants that offer wine corkage for a fee, or sometimes — though rarely — for nothing, has a new thing going. It’s called Corkpon, or a coupon for corkage.
Corkpons, as explained by CorkageFeed, are created by restaurateurs and bar owners as a way to attract customers. To find Corkpons and corkage information at restaurants near you, go toCorkageFeed.com and plug in your ZIP Code, the restaurant name or the city. If a restaurant is featuring a Corkpon, you’ll see a “Corkpon offer” button on the listing. Redeem the offer by printing it or showing it to your waiter on your smartphone.
A corkage fee is a charge made by a restaurant or hotel for storing or serving wine that has been brought in by a customer. So if you encounter a dining establishment (where allowed by law) that features BYOB, then you may have to pay for them to pop the cork and serve you the wine. http://telegram.com/article/ [LINK]
Have you ever ask what the corkage fee is at a venue because it was nowhere to be found on the menu, posted on a sign or listed anywhere visible to the human eye only to get the feeling as though the wait staff is improvising because they really do not what the corkage fee is either? Join the conversation and take our poll…
While most good restaurants allow diners to bring their own wine, some don’t, so the first step in deciding whether or not to bring your own bottle is to call ahead and ask if it’s allowed. We usually ask when we make the initial reservation or when we confirm that reservation on the day for which it was set. Simply ask the maître d’ what the restaurant’s corkage policy is, and then whether or not they have a fee. VinePair.com
The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (California) does not regulate the imposition of corkage fees. It is not mandatory to do so although it is a common practice with licensed restaurants. Licensees who decide to impose a corkage fee may set the amount of that fee. “BYOB” is the decision of the individual licensee and, in many cases, licensees do not permit patrons to bring in personal alcoholic beverages. Nothing in the ABC Act nor our business regulations require licensees to post their corkage fee policy or the amount of their fees.
David K. Wright
CA ABC Trade Enforcement Unit