“Why do we park on a driveway & drive on a parkway?”

This is the play on words joke I am reminded of as I prepare a quick little piece once again using the word “cork”.  In my last post I talked about “corked” wine.  And today I want to talk about “corkage”, or a corkage fee.

As the cartoon indicates a corkage fee is a fee restaurants charge guests who choose to bring their own bottle (of wine).  Not all restaurants offer this courtesy, but it is something certainly worth taking advantage of during these difficult economic times.

Some places that allow people to bring bottles for a fee are either restaurants that do not have their own liquor (or beer & wine) license.  Also, new restaurants that have not YET gotten their licenses will often allow guests to bring their own bottle – sometimes without charging a corkage.

People may be embarrassed to bring their own bottle but I read just today in “Wine & Spirits Daily” about a survey of women & wine with “Full Glass Research” wherein “55% (of women surveyed) stated that they are comfortable bringing their own bottle and paying a corkage fee“.

A final note about this convenient and practical option is WHAT BOTTLE to bring and pay the corkage fee.  Typically you can not bring a bottle that the restaurant already offers.  And inexpensive/generic bottles are often frowned upon.  May I suggest an unusual Israeli wine…

(Incidentally, Reuters in their review of the wine industry from 2008 said “Less well-known wine countries such as Israel … which (has) been making wine for millennia, (has) also seen (its) shares of the U.S. market gain a bit” – keep it up!)

Happy corkage fee wine tasting!


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