It’s quite a liberating experience when you BYOW.   It frees you from the high mark-up some places levy on their wines.  It allows you to bring your own wine and enjoy it with your favorite food.   As with many new freedoms, however, BYOW has some rules you should follow.

Things to Do:

• Try not to bring wine that’s on the restaurant’s own list.

• When you call for reservations, ask about any BYOW rules. Some establishments, for instance, limit the time or days when the service is offered.

• Ask for the corkage fee if it’s not listed on You don’t want to be taken by surprise. The fee should match the service offered. If the restaurant brings an ice bucket or decanter plus appropriate glasses and such, expect to pay a reasonable fee... with tip!

• Make sure the restaurant has appropriate glasses for any fine wine you choose to bring... and a decanter or ice bucket if necessary.

• Carry your wine in a bag. You don’t have to get fancy. Any bag is fine but many restaurants will frown on naked bottles being carried unceremoniously by their necks.

• Be particularly careful with older vintages and wines that may have sediment. Ask to have it decanted.

• Find out if the sommelier is available ahead of time to talk about what wine goes with the special of the day, or to get suggestions to go with the wine you want to bring.

• Drink responsibly. You do not have to finish the wine you bring. The restaurant will replace the cork – pushed all the way in – and you can take the wine home. Incidentally, a cork must be used to stopper screw cap wines as well. Let the restaurant take care of this for you... and use the bag you brought.

• You can bring more than one bottle if you’d like to match your wines with different courses but do remember most restaurants charge a fee per bottle you bring. The more bottles you bring, the more you pay for corkage.

• Please always remember you don’t have to finish each bottle. Too much of a good thing might put a damper on the rest of your experience.

• Drink responsibly. Don't drink and drive!