Michigan has garnered our attention this week after passing a law allowing restaurant goers the ability to bring their own bottle of wine (assuming the restaurant approves) to the table. While we’re 100% in favor of BYOW, this opens the door to poor etiquette and cheapos doing it wrong. Here is our guide for bringing your own bottle without looking like a newbie.
1. Be prepared to pay
Most restaurants will charge guests with a corkage fee, basically their way of getting some money on the bottle of wine they would have sold you. If you’re bringing in your own bottle to save money, don’t be surprised when they ask you to pay up.
2. Bring something unique
Bringing a regular bottle that is already on the restaurant’s wine list a faux pas. Make sure this is something unique that won’t leave the restaurant wondering why you brought your own bottle in the first place.
3. Don’t stiff on the tip
Even though you already paid for the bottle you’re drinking, remember the waiter is still putting in the effort to fill up your glass. Take into account the price of the bottle and reward your waiter/waitress for their services.
4. Share the wealth
Assuming this is indeed a rare and enjoyable wine that isn’t currently on the wine menu it’s good manners to offer up a taste to the restaurant’s sommelier. This may seem weird but believe us they’ll appreciate it. And you’ll like a vino expert.
5. Don’t forget the food
Bringing a great bottle of Italian wine to an Italian restaurant makes sense but be careful not to eliminate half the menu by bringing something completely obscure. We like our food and wine to work together so make sure your accompanying meal is kept in mind.
Assuming you’re in a state that legally allows byo-wine, it can be a great idea. Make sure you follow these guidelines and take care of your servers and bringing your own bottle can be a big hit.